Premenstrual syndromes: overview from a methodologic perspective

Am J Psychiatry. 1984 Feb;141(2):163-72. doi: 10.1176/ajp.141.2.163.


The authors review the available evidence regarding the nature, cause, and treatment of the premenstrual syndromes. They attribute the contradictory results of various studies and the current theoretical confusion in the area to the failure of investigators to carefully define the syndromes, formulate a set of answerable questions, and select a homogeneous population before initiating their studies. The relationship between premenstrual syndromes and major psychiatric disorders, as well as the clinical and theoretical relevance of the menstrual cycle to major psychiatric disorders, is discussed. The authors offer recommendations to both investigators and clinicians for more careful observation and documentation of the relationship between mood disorders and the menstrual cycle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / etiology
  • Progesterone / therapeutic use
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Research Design / standards


  • Androgens
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Progesterone