Author(s): Allen SS, McBride CM, Pirie PL
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Abstract Research on the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has been impeded by a lack of reliable and valid assessment techniques. The premenstrual assessment form (PAF), although a valid and reliable instrument, consists of 95 questions, requires extensive periods of time to complete and may be inappropriate for some clinical and research purposes. A study was designed to shorten the PAF and to test the validity and reliability of the shortened instrument. Twenty items that were most frequently reported to change during the week prior to menses were selected from the 95-item PAF form. The 20-item PAF form was administered at the baseline and 6- and 12-month follow-up clinic visits. A factor analysis identified three subscales: affect, water retention and pain. Our results showed that a shortened, 10-item version of the PAF had high internal consistency and reliability. A comparison of the symptoms on the 10-item PAF scale to reported nicotine withdrawal symptoms indicated that while the two correlated, the intercorrelation between the PAF subscales and the total PAF over time was higher. Thus, the 10-item PAF appears to measure a somewhat distinct and relatively stable set of symptoms. The 10-item PAF is a reliable and valid instrument that can be used to assess PMS when the study design or clinical need precludes the use of a 95-item PAF.
This article was published in J Reprod Med
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care