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Characteristics of women seeking treatment for premenstrual syndrome in Taiwan

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Objective: To analyze the characteristics of 150 women who visited a premenstrual syndrome (PMS) clinic in a Taiwanese medical center staffed by both psychiatrists and gynecologists.

Method: All subjects were interviewed and assessed for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) using DSM-IV criteria, a PMS questionnaire, and the structured Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Where PMDD was suspected, subjects were followed using a daily symptom record.

Results: A total of 110 subjects (73%) met the ICD-10 criteria for PMS. The most common PMS symptoms were minor psychological discomfort, muscular tension, and aches or pains. For 129 subjects (86%), other concurrent psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using the MINI. Of these, 48 (37%) reported premenstrual exacerbation (PME) of a previously diagnosed psychiatric condition.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that women who complain of PMS may be at a high risk of other psychiatric dysfunction, especially mood disorder. Further, the high proportion of PME cases determined in this study suggests that further investigation is required.
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Keywords: mental health services; premenstrual syndrome; women's health

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University School of Medicine, Tao-yuan, Taiwan, 2: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University School of Medicine, Tao-yuan, Taiwan

Publication date: 01 August 2002

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