Dimensional (premenstrual symptoms screening tool) vs categorical (mini diagnostic interview, module U) for assessment of premenstrual disorders

World J Psychiatry. 2022 Apr 19;12(4):603-614. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v12.i4.603.


Background: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the constellation of physical and psychological symptoms before menstruation. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS with more depressive and anxiety symptoms. The Mini international neuropsychiatric interview, module U (MINI-U), assesses the diagnostic criteria for probable PMDD. The Premenstrual Symptoms screening tool (PSST) measures the severity of these symptoms.

Aim: To compare the PSST ordinal scores with the corresponding dichotomous MINI-U answers.

Methods: Arab women (n = 194) residing in Doha, Qatar, received the MINI-U and PSST. Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analyses provided the cut-off scores on the PSST using MINI-U as a gold standard.

Results: All PSST ratings were higher in participants with positive responses on MINI-U. In addition, ROC analyses showed that all areas under the curves were significant with the cutoff scores on PSST.

Conclusion: This study confirms that the severity measures from PSST can recognize patients with moderate/ severe PMS and PMDD who would benefit from immediate treatment.

Keywords: Arabs; Categorical vs dimensional classification; Premenstrual dysphoric disorder; Premenstrual symptoms screening tool.