Rowe Researcher: Premenstrual Syndrome in Minority Women

Fall 2012-Spring 2014: An Exploratory Pilot of Factors Associated with Premenstrual Syndrome in Minority Women

By Mallory Perry; Michelle Judge, PhD, RD; Deborah D. McDonald, PhD, RN

Research evidence is limited in relation to the difference between minority populations and White Americans in regards to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.  Though no research has been done directly on PMS variances, studies on amount and duration of menstrual cycles do show that there is a significant difference between ethnic groups.  The aims for this research are to explore factors associated with PMS in minority women and to compare PMS symptom response of minority and nonminority women to diet supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids.

This descriptive correlational retrospective pilot expands on preliminary data collected from a double blind placebo study testing the effects of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on PMS symptoms.  Participants were instructed to fill out the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MMDQ) throughout their 5 months of participation.  The first 2 months of the study were designed to graph the participant’s baseline and starting with month 3, the participants were instructed to begin supplementation (either Omega-3 or placebo, wheat germ oil).   For the current study, mean PMS scores from the MMDQ will be obtained from minority women who were in the intervention group (omega-3) and will be compared with non-minority women who were also in the intervention group.  Within group (minority) and between group differences (minority v. non-minority) will be explored.  A better understanding of contributing factors to PMS symptoms as well as ethnic variances, will allow healthcare providers to provide treatment to sufferers of PMS symptoms based on their specific needs.