The self-care strategies of girls with primary dysmenorrhea: a focus group study in Taiwan

Health Care Women Int. 2006 May;27(5):418-27. doi: 10.1080/07399330600629583.


Dysmenorrhea is the most common gynaecological complaint and the leading cause of recurrent short-term school absenteeism among adolescent girls. To explore adolescent girls' self-care strategies for dysmenorrhea, we conducted four focus groups in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, with 23 female adolescents with primary dysmenorrhea. Thematic content analysis was used to explore and organize the data. The self-care strategies for dysmenorrhea reported by participants included reducing physical activity, modifying diet using herbal remedies or medication, applying complementary therapies, paying attention to symptom clusters of discomforts, and expressing emotions. This is the first study to describe the self-care strategies adopted by adolescent girls with dysmenorrhea in Asia. Data were analyzed in cultural contexts. Knowledge of beneficial food-related or herbal health practices can enable professionals to counsel this population more effectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration
  • Dysmenorrhea / prevention & control*
  • Dysmenorrhea / therapy
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Narration
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Self Medication / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan