Perceptions of Health and Somatic Sensations in Women Reporting Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Focus on bodily sensations may be involved in the etiology of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This study investigated the relationship between two types of somatic self-focus (i.e., health anxiety and anxiety sensitivity) and health-related quality of life (QOL) in women with provision diagnoses of PMS and PMDD. On the basis of responses to a screening measure, 731 college women were divided into three groups: PMDD, Moderate/Severe PMS, and Mild/No PMS. Measures included health-related QOL, health anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and trait anxiety. Women with provisional diagnoses of PMDD and moderate/severe PMS reported higher levels of health anxiety and anxiety sensitivity. These relationships were not accounted for by trait anxiety. Furthermore, women in the PMDD and Moderate/Severe PMS groups reported lower health-related QOL. There is a significant health-related QOL burden for college women with PMDD and PMS. Health anxiety and anxiety sensitivity may contribute to the etiology of premenstrual disorders.
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