The Mothers' Influence on Dysmenorrhea Self-Care Strategies in Taiwanese Adolescent Girls

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

I-Chen Lu, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, Chung-Hwa University of Medical Technology, Tainan city, Taiwan
Sharon Dormire, RN, CNS, PhD
College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to know the culturally diverse health behaviors regarding the management of dysmenorrhea in Taiwanese adolescent girls.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the motherís influence on Taiwanese adolescent girlsí self-care strategies for dysmenorrhea.


Dysmenorrhea is a common gynecological problem significantly affecting symptomatic adolescents’ life and activities. Adolescents in Taiwan identified their mothers as the most important persons they asked for answers regarding dysmenorrhea. However, the mother’s influence on Taiwanese adolescents’ management of dysmenorrhea has not been examined. The purposes of this study were to describe Taiwanese adolescent’s perception of her mother’s support for self-care strategies for dysmenorrhea (MPSS), and to explore the influence of MPSS on adolescent dysmenorrhea self-care strategies, and the perceived effectiveness of self-care strategies.


A correlational study was conducted. A nonprobability sample was recruited from a technology university located in southern Taiwan. All participants and their parents completed the consent forms; consenting adolescents completed the questionnaires. A demographic and health-related questionnaire, the Mother’s Perceived Support for Self-Care Strategies Questionnaire, the Adolescent Dysmenorrhea Self-Care Scale, and the Perceived Effectiveness of Self-care Strategies Questionnaire were used to collect data. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistical techniques, ANOVA and Pearson’s correlations. 


A total of 165 Taiwanese adolescent girl participants were enrolled. The mean age was 17.41. The top five items of self -care strategies for dysmenorrhea mostly supported by participants’ mothers were: 1) I avoid having icy cold food when I have period cramps, 2) I drink more warm water when I have period cramps, 3) I apply a hot water bag or other heating device to my lower abdomen when I have period cramps, 4) I avoid doing intense exercise when I have period cramps, 5) I take a hot shower when I have period cramps.


Mother’s perceived support for self-care strategies was significantly and positively related to adolescent dysmenorrhea self-care strategies (r= .54), and the perceived effectiveness (r= .28). Therefore, nurses and other health professionals should include mothers in their assessment or interventions regarding dysmenorrhea care plan.