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Dysmenorrhoea and self-care behaviours among hospital nurses: a questionnaire survey

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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To investigate self-care behaviours and its predictors for dysmenorrhoea among hospital nurses.

Background

Dysmenorrhoea is an important issue in hospital nurses for its influence on job performance and quality of patient care. Given the difficulties in reorganising work schedule for taking menstrual leave in Taiwan, it is necessary to improve the comfort level of nurses during menstruation.

Design

A cross-sectional correlation study using a structured questionnaire.

Methods

A convenience sampling method was used to select two hospitals in Southern Taiwan, and participants were recruited by random sampling method. Questionnaire used in the study contained personal information, Dysmenorrheic Knowledge Scale, Menstrual Attitude Scale and Dysmenorrheic Self-Care Behavior Scale (DSCBS). Two hundred and ninety-seven participants had experienced dysmenorrhoea in the last six months, with the prevalence rate of 70·7%.

Results

Results showed the average age of the participants was 30·3 years, and 252 participants (82·4%) self-perceived they were bothered by dysmenorrhoea. The score of DSCBS was 29·9 (±5·3). The results of stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed the predictors of DSCBS included whether the participants (1) were married, (2) had irregular menstruation, (3) had received health education on dysmenorrhoea, (4) visited doctor for dysmenorrhoea, (5) knew they may take menstrual leave and (6) were identified with menstruation as a natural event. The r2 was 18·4%.

Conclusions

Hospital nurses' self-care behaviour for dysmenorrhoea is suggested to be improved through enhanced peer support and caring.

Relevance to clinical practice

The prevalence rate of dysmenorrhoea among hospital nurses is high. Most of them take analgesics to reduce pain to return to work. We recommend hospitals to provide women-friendly workplace and empowerment activities to improve the self-care ability and comfort level of nurses during menstruation.

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