Psychological characteristics of patients with primary dysmenorrhea

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Aim. To study the psychological characteristics of women with primary dysmenorrhea.

Methods. We examined 77 women of childbearing age, divided into the main (40 women) and control (37 women) groups. The criterion for inclusion in the main group was a clinically confirmed diagnosis of “primary dysmenorrhea” with a regular menstrual cycle. The exclusion criteria were an organic gynecological pathology, a diagnosis of secondary dysmenorrhea and an irregular menstrual cycle. The criterion for inclusion in the control group was absolute painlessness of menstruation and the absence of gynecological diseases. The survey was conducted using psychodiagnostic techniques: a method for self-assessment of anxiety, rigidity, and extroversion; test “Express diagnosis of the level of self-esteem”; a technique for studying accentuation of personality traits; test-questionnaire of psychological defense mechanisms “Life Style Index”; questionnaire “Methods of coping behavior”, statistical methods. Also, a specially developed questionnaire was used, including questions related to socio-psychological parameters, as well as the nature and intensity of pain.

Results. Significant differences between the groups characterizing coping strategies were found: distance (p <0.002); escape-avoidance (p <0.029); psychological defenses: denial (p <0.006), regression (p <0.011). The subjects of the main group were characterized by significantly high anxiety levels (p <0.020) with the average score 47.2±1.15 corresponding to a hyperanxious and low self-esteem (p <0.001) with the average score 30.1±1.43 compared to women in the control group: 42.7±1.53 — average anxiety level and 27.4±1.31 — normal self-esteem.

Conclusion. The features of the relationship of the psychological characteristics of women with “primary dysmenorrhea” were revealed; it was proved that the subjects of the main and control groups differ in the features of coping behavior, psychological defenses and accentuation of personality traits, and also have reliably distinguishable levels of anxiety and self-esteem.

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About the authors

E V Makaricheva

Kazan State Medical University


Russian Federation, Kazan, Russia

M S Burguvan

Kazan State Medical University

Author for correspondence.

Russian Federation, Kazan, Russia


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