Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: prevalence and effects on nursing students' academic performance and clinical training in Kuwait

J Clin Nurs. 2011 Oct;20(19-20):2915-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03708.x. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Aims: This study investigated the prevalence of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder among non-treatment seeking female students at the College of Nursing Kuwait. It also explored the effects of the disorder on their academic performance as shown by their grade point average and rate of absenteeism at clinical training.

Background: Many women worldwide are unaware of this distressing menstrual disorder which affects about 3-8% of women of childbearing age. The cyclical mood symptoms often appear during the last week prior to the onset of menstruation. These symptoms interfere with sufferers activities of daily living including occupational, biopsychosocial and sexual activities.

Design: A prospective observational study.

Methods: The study used an adapted Arabic version of Daily Record of Severity of Problem for two menstrual cycles to collect data from 110 nursing students.

Result: Data analysis showed Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the adapted tool was 0·95. The rate of premenstrual dysphoric disorder was 5·6%. Hypotheses tested showed no significant effect on students' academic performance but a significant association with absenteeism at clinical training.

Conclusion: The rate obtained in this study was similar to those from recent studies. Participants with high luteal scores believe that the condition have lowered their quality of life by making them choose to be in isolation during the period.

Relevance to clinical practice: Nursing students' absenteeism rate at clinical training is a predictor of their work absence pattern after qualification. Absenteeism due to premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a cyclic monthly disorder will be of monthly occurrences if sufferers do not sought medical treatment. Registered nurses absenteeism will not only result in shortage of trained nursing personnel, but also lowered standard of client care. It also has cost implications as temporary substitute staff may have to be employed during their period of absence or sick leave. This has implications for nursing management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kuwait / epidemiology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence