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Are premenstrual symptoms associated with health anxiety in nursing graduates?

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2011.13014    4,203 Downloads   8,448 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objective: This study examined retrospectively the relationship between premenstrual symptoms and health anxiety. Methods: Premenstrual symptoms of nursing school graduates were assessed in 1985 and again in 1991 using the Premenstrual Assessment Form (PAF). A total of 571 women completed the survey in 1991, along with items relating to their physical and mental health. The latter included depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Health anxiety was also assessed using the Whiteley Index (WI). After women who were amenorrheic for any reason were excluded, a final sample of 410 women aged 25 to 52 years was obtained. Factor analyses yielded 57 items that were useful for calculating a total PAF score. A stepwise multivariate linear regression model was used to find the association of PAF scores with various participant characteristics. Results: Thirty-kone of the 410 (7.6%) women had WI scores of ≥5 and were considered to have significant health-related anxiety. The PAF score had statistically significant associations with health anxiety, as well as depression and anxiety. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the premenstrual symptoms often coexist with health anxiety as well as other psychological symptoms. Clinicians should be alert to the fact that PMS may be associated with treatable psychiatric conditions.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Xu, Y. , Noyes, R. , Hartz, A. , Levy, B. , Daly, J. and Johnson, S. (2011) Are premenstrual symptoms associated with health anxiety in nursing graduates?. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 1, 98-105. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2011.13014.

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