Why Do Some Spanish Nursing Students with Menstrual Pain Fail to Consult Healthcare Professionals?.
Abstract: Dysmenorrhea is a problem that affects a large percentage of young women worldwide. Alarmingly, the majority of these women choose to self-medicate rather than consult a healthcare professional, despite the risks involved. The present study aimed to explore the reasons why undergraduate nursing students do not consult health care professionals regarding their menstrual pain. A qualitative study was conducted using an open question: “Why didn’t you consult a healthcare professional?” within the context of a research project on primary dysmenorrhea among nursing students at the University of Huelva, Spain. The responses of 202 women were analyzed using content analysis. Three categories were identified: assessment of the pain experienced, expectations, and experiences of professional care and selfcare. We found a striking normalization of the problem; notably, students downplayed the importance of the problem, considering that it was not worth consulting a physician. Furthermore, there was a notable degree of self-medication using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). These results may be useful for orienting policies to raise social awareness of this problem and for designing health education strategies aimed at women with primary dysmenorrhea.
Universal identifier: http://hdl.handle.net10641/2086
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