Nursing Care of Premenstrual Syndromes

Afza.Malik GDA

Premenstrual Syndromes and Nursing Care

Nursing Care Premenstrual Syndromes

What Is Premenstrual Syndromes,Premenstrual Syndrome and Feminists,Health Classification of Premenstrual Syndrome,Nursing Research on Premenstrual Syndrome,Social Impact of Menstrual and Nursing Research,Premenstrual Syndrome and Treatment,Measuring Premenstrual Experiences,Nursing Research Outcomes for Premenstrual Syndrome,Scientific Rationalized Care for Premenstrual Syndrome.

What Is Premenstrual Syndromes

    Until the 1970s, misogynist views of menstrual related experiences prevailed. Notably, an article written by a Johns Hopkins University physician, Erle Henrikson , in 1948 described premenstrual tension as the “Bitch Syndrome.” 

    After "carefully observing" many nurses and other "perfectionistic" women, Henrikson declared in his study that women who were both high achievers and "not satisfied" with their work or roles had more severe symptoms ( Speroff , 1988). 

    With the advent of the 1970s, critique and counterpoint arguments to negative classification of perimenstrual experiences were beginning to be published. Feminist scholars recommended the use of the word “change” over “symptom,” as in “premenstrual changes” (Delaney, Lupton, & Toth, 1976; Parlee , 1973). 

    In 1979, feminist epidemiologist and nurse researcher Nancy Woods first used the term “premenstrual symptoms or experiences” (Woods &Hulka , 1979). In the mid-1980s, professional medical organizations in the United States and United Kingdom met to define premenstrual syndrome (PMS) for clinical trials and scientific research.     

The published proceedings established the medical basis for the presentation and clinical existence of PMS as a disease classification (Dawood, McGuire, & Demers, 1985; Halbreich , 1997). 

    From this point forward, misogynist labeling shifted to medical diagnosis. Notably, psychiatry and the Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health provided the leadership in biomedical research ( Rubinow & Schmidt, 1995). 

    In 1986, the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) voted to include a PMS label as a diagnosis in the research appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 3rd edition (DSM-IIIR) (American Psychiatric Association, 1986). 

    Although the diagnostic term, Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder (LLPDD), was included in the 1987 DSM-IIIR in the “category requiring further study” (or research appendix), it was given a diagnostic code, title, list of symptoms , and cutoff points exactly like diagnostic categories in the main text of the DSM that is supported by scientific evidence. 

    In spite of the recommendation of its own subcommittee that there was little substantive science to support a diagnosis of premenstrual mental illness, the APA included a revised label of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in the DSM-IV research appendix and in the main text under Depressive disorders

    While symptom assessment requires one of four mood symptoms and four physical or somatic symptoms to qualify for the PMDD diagnosis, only antidepressant drugs were recommended for psychiatric treatment.

Premenstrual Syndrome and Feminists

    It has been argued that the controversy over the labeling and treatment of PMS and its symptoms was not restricted to conflict between feminists and the APA, nor was it a natural result of scientific progress. Rather, using terms such as PMS or PMDD gives a diagnostic (dysfunctional) label to premenstrual experiences and ignores the underlying social causes, allowing the status quo to be maintained. 

    Furthermore, women internalize patriarchal beliefs about femininity and pathology and blame their individual biology for their feelings of dissatisfaction, rather than challenge the cultural traditions by looking for a political or social solution.

Health Classification of Premenstrual Syndrome

    So what's all of the fuss about a label? More than an issue of semantics, the terminology we use to describe women's experiences influences social, political, and medical institutions. Classification of health related signs and symptoms generally leads to the identification of diagnostic criteria but is ultimately a social process, and as such it is influenced by multiple social forces. 

    Unfortunately, biomedical language has predominated with little attention paid to alternative perspectives from other disciplines and, more importantly, from a woman's perspective.

Nursing Research on Premenstrual Syndrome

    Nursing research has been done independently and collectively, with colleagues in the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR), at the forefront of a woman centered agenda for understanding menstrual cycle experiences as both normative and illness processes. 

    One early example of an outcome of the cross disciplinary SMCR conferences was the 1981 Guidelines for Non-Sexist Research (Psychology of Women Division). 

    These guidelines, sponsored by the SMCR, were a result of 2 years of effort by a national task force of psychologists appointed by Division 35 (Psychology of Women Division of the American Psychological Association, 1981) of the American Psychological Association and endorsed by them in 1981.

    A long history of funded research programs also demonstrates the scope, sophistication, and scientific rig or of nursing research in these areas. Since 1986, the National Institute for Nursing Research has been actively supportive of research addressing the cause and consequences of menstrual cycle and menopause related health conditions (Reame, 2001). 

    Nurse researchers have focused on comorbidities related to menstruation or menstrual cycle phase, such as sleep function and disturbance, fatigue, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal function and irritable bowel syndrome, brain function and neurocognition, depression, mood states, stress responsivity, circadian rhythms, pain and analgesic responses, bone biomarkers and osteoporosis, HIV and AIDS, violence and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

    As well as chronic diseases such as heart disease variability, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer, and arthritis (Golding, Taylor, Menard, & King, 2000; Taylor, D., 1999; Woods, Lentz, Mitchell, & Kogan, 1994; Shaver, Giblin, Lentz, & Lee, 1988; Heitkemper et al., 1995; Reame, 2001; Williams, 2003 ).

Social Impact of Menstrual and Nursing Research 

    Attention to the context in which menstruation occurs has been an important part of nursing research into the menstrual cycle. Studies have documented the importance of stressful life circumstances in association with symptoms, as well as the importance of socialization for menstruation. 

    Nurse researchers have made clear the consequences for women of a social context in which menstrual symptoms such as PMS are invalidated or used to invalidate women's complaints and abilities. 

    Nancy Woods with her team, first at the University of North Carolina and later at the University of Washington, developed and tested multivariate models of "perimenstrual symptoms and experiences".

    It included sex role orientation, socialization, social context, stress, well-being, health status, health practices, and health seeking (Brown, MA, & Woods, 1986; Brown, MA, & Zimmer, 1987a, 1987b; Macdougall , 2000; Mitchell, E., Woods, Lentz, & Taylor, 1991; Mitchell, 1999; Mitchell, ES, Woods, & Lentz, 1987, 1993; Mitchell, ES, Woods, Lentz, Taylor, & Lee, 1992; Mitchell, ES, Woods, & Mariella, 2003; Oleson & Woods, 1986; Taylor, DT , & Woods, 1991; Taylor, D., Woods, Mitchell, & Lentz, 1987; Woods, 1985). 

    Other nurse investigators have looked beyond negative mood and personal variables to consider positive feelings and experiences, generational differences of mood and physical experiences across social, monthly and seasonal cycles, and development of biopsy. 

    Cho social conceptual models that clarify the limitations of the biomedical model and provide a basis for hypothesis testing (Cahill, 1998; Costos & Gleason, 1995; Lee, S., 2001; Taylor, D., 1990; Taylor, D., & Woods, 1991).

Premenstrual Syndrome and Treatment 

    As a normative experience, nurses have carefully described the experience of women across menstrual cycle phases and transitions. Patterns of perimenstrual symptoms, including Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Premenstrual Magnification (PMM), and dysmenorrhea symptoms, have been described carefully as the basis for treatment. 

    The existence of a symptom pattern consistent with definitions of PMS has been described, and the possibility for its idiosyncratic experience has been theoretically developed and tested. Definitions and criteria for clinical assessment based on daily recordings as well as retrospective assessment have been established.     

    One of the first epidemiologic studies of premenstrual mood change in a healthy, community based sample was conducted by Woods in which women's daily experience of feelings, cognitions, and physical changes were assessed across three menstrual cycles using prospective daily diaries in multiple, non clinical samples of regularly menstruating women (Woods, Most, &Dery , 1982; Woods &Hulka , 1979; Woods, Mitchell, Lentz, Taylor, & Lee, 1987). 

    An important contribution by Nancy Woods to understanding what is and is not PMS is the redesign of the epidemiologic approach to estimating the prevalence of PMS. Instead of assuming a set of a priori symptoms or signs attributed to the label of PMS, she turned the epidemiologic model on his head by asking women about their daily experiences across multiple menstrual cycles. 

    Factor and cluster analysis methods allowed classification of these data based on women's lives across all menstrual cycle phases rather than only the premenstrual or menstrual phase.

Measuring Premenstrual Experiences 

    The measurement of perimenstrual experiences has become increasingly sophisticated as well as reflecting its complex, nonlinear nature. Ellen Mitchell and colleagues (Mitchell, ES, et al., 1991; Mitchell, ES, et al., 1987, 1993; Mitchell, ES, et al., 1992) have made important contributions to advancing the definition of PMS through their data-based models of perimenstrual experience classification (perception, evaluation, response patterns). 

    Research methods that go beyond the traditional quantitative approaches are now better able to capture the women's subjectivity (lived experience) and diversity, such as the interview method, cross-cultural research, ethnography, and feminist experimental methods.     

A number of studies. have compared views and experiences of menstrual cyclicity, including PMS. of women from other cultures (Berg, J., 1999; Beyene , Taylor, & Lee, 2001; Brown, M., & Zimmer, 1986; Dan & Al- Gasseer , 1991). 

    Social and physical environmental effects on the menstrual cycle and PMS experience have been explored, examining the effects of perimenstrual symptoms on work, marital relationships, mother-daughter relationships, and family functioning (Brown, M., & Zimmer, 1986; Roberts, SJ , &Garling , 1980; Robinson, K., 1997).

 Nursing Research Outcomes for Premenstrual Syndrome

    Nursing research has been influential in expanding therapeutic studies beyond the context-free clinical drug trials while maintaining the "gold-standard" experimental methods-placebo controlled, randomized clinical trial designs. 

    The earliest studies included nonrandomized trials of the effectiveness of biofeedback and autogenic training for menstrual pain, feminist self-help groups, community education strategies, combined self-help and professional support groups, and behavioral (transpersonal approach, relaxation training, telephone counseling, and exercise) therapies (Amato, 1987; Heczey , 1980; Heinz, 1986; Miota , Yahle , &Bartz , 1991; Morse C, Dennerstein , Farrell, &Varnavides , 1991; G Morse, 1999; Taylor , D., & Bledsoe, 1986). 

    In the 1990s, well-designed, controlled clinical trials of complementary therapies and cognitive-behavioural therapies were reported (Cohen, SM, 1989; Groer, 1993; Morse, G., 1999). The first NIH-funded, randomized clinical trial of a pilot-tested, non-pharmacologic treatment included personal symptom management strategies as well as strategies for controlling social stress (Taylor, D., 1996, 1999, 2000). 

    This clinical trial demonstrated how environmental stress management was as important as personal stress management strategies for coping with mood and physical symptoms.

Scientific Rationalized Care for Premenstrual Syndrome

    Putting the science back into self-care has been a major contribution to menstrual cycle research by nurse scientists, resulting in research dissemination to consumers. In 2002, Diana Taylor published one of the first science-based self-help books for women that described effective, non-drug remedies for relieving PMS (Taylor, D., &Colino , 2002). 

    Progress has also been made within professional and clinical communities to translate research into practice, using both empirical research as well as women's experiences as an important aspect of the base of evidence. A national organization of women's health nurses has implemented a model of clinical guideline development the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing (2003). 

    This professional organization of women's health care providers developed an innovative clinical practice guideline (Association of Women's Health, Obstetrical & Neonatal Nursing) based on a broad range of clinical, empirical, and theoretical evidence and subsequently evaluated the guideline in nursing practice through a research- based practice project (Collins-Sharp, Taylor, Kelly-Thomas, Killeen, & Dawood, 2002). 

    In this guideline, they recommend the term Cyclic Perimenstrual Pain and Discomfort (CPPD) to differentiate normal cyclic changes associated with menstruation from the severe, debilitating menstrual and premenstrual symptom experiences that require professional or pharmacologic intervention.

    Albeit the label references the negative end of the perimenstrual experience spectrum, it is based on a range of empirical studies using quantitative and qualitative methods of women's experiences, not just hypothetical pigeonholing.

    As more nurses assume roles as primary care providers for women, the need for this evidence based therapeutic models is critically important. 

    Clinical trials of treatment models, coupled with interventions to promote the understanding of menstruation, symptoms, and self-care options, should be aggressively pursued.

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!