Comparison of Quality of Life Scores in Adolescents with Menstrual Dysfunction Abstract

TM YANG, William WK TO

Objective:
To compare the impact of common menstrual problems in adolescent women on the standard quality of life scores using the 36-item short-form health survey, and to identify particular modalities of menstrual dysfunction that are associated with significant adverse effects on quality of life.

Design:
Prospective cross-sectional observational survey.

Methods:
Adolescent females between the age of 15 and 20 years with menstrual problems as their chief complaint were recruited from a hospital specialist-led adolescent gynaecology clinic over an 18-month period. All subjects completed a structured self-answering questionnaire recording epidemiological data and a 36-item short-form health survey.

Results:
A total of 235 adolescents with menstrual problems (43 [18.2%] with dysmenorrhoea, 86 [36.5%] with oligo/amenorrhoea, and 106 [45.1%] with irregular menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia), and 60 eumenorrhoeic adolescents with no other menstrual symptoms were recruited. The mean age of the entire cohort was 17.3 years. The group with menstrual problems had significantly lower quality of life scores in the domains of general health and social functioning compared to the controls. Within the menstrual dysfunction group, the dysmenorrhoeic group had particularly lower scores in the domain of bodily pain, while the oligo/amenorrhoeic adolescents scored significantly lower in physical functioning, role performance, vitality, and social functioning. Thirty-one (36%) in the oligo/ amenorrhoeic group satisfied the diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovarian syndrome. This subgroup had the lowest quality of life scores when compared with all other non–polycystic ovarian syndrome adolescents in the cohort.

Conclusion:
Oligo/amenorrhoea apparently had the strongest negative impact on the quality of life scores as compared to other menstrual problems. Those with polycystic ovarian syndrome appeared to have the lowest scores in the cohort.

Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2006; 6:24-31

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