Dysmenorrhea and Related Factors in Taiwanese Adolescent Girls

Tuesday, 23 July 2013: 4:10 PM

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 pain symptom management of dysmenorrhea in Taiwanese adolescent girls.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the dymenorrhea and the factors related to the symptom management of dysmenorrhea in Taiwanese adolescent girls.

Purpose:  Dysmenorrhea is common in female adolescents in Taiwan affecting symptomatic adolescents’ life and activities. However, factors related to dysmenorrhea have not been clearly explored. The purposes of this study were to: 1) describe the perceived dysmenorrhea pain symptom experience (SE), related self-care strategies (SCS), and perceived effectiveness of self-care strategies (PESS); and 2) to explore the relationships between SE, SCS, PESS, and contextual factors in Taiwanese adolescents.

Methods:  The conceptual framework, based on the revised Symptom Management Model, was developed and guided this correlational study. A nonprobability sample of 165 adolescent participants was recruited from a technology university located in southern Taiwan. All participants and their parents completed the consent forms and the questionnaires. Data were collected using a demographic and health-related questionnaire, the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, the Adolescent Dysmenorrhea Self-Care Scale, the Perceived Effectiveness of Self-care Strategies Questionnaire, and the Mother’s Perceived Support for Self-care Strategies Questionnaire. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistical techniques, ANOVA and Pearson’s correlations, and multiple regression analysis.

Results:  The findings showed the prevalence of dysmenorrhea was 87.3%. Around 82.4% of participants reported dysmenorrhea had influenced their daily activity, and 12.7% of participants reported school absenteeism because of dysmenorrhea. Most of participants used self–care strategies for dysmenorrhea including avoiding cold food or drinks, drinking brown sugar and ginger soup, etc. Age, age of the first period, total menstrual years, eating cold food or drinks, self-care strategies, and mother’s perceived support of self-care strategies were significantly related to the log of symptom experience of dysmenorrhea. Total menstrual years and self-care strategies were identified as significant predictors of dysmenorrhea.  

Conclusion:  The findings supported the existence of relationships between self-care strategies and perceived effectiveness of self-care strategies. Future research should be conducted to design interventions reduce the pain associated with dysmenorrhea for this population.