Living with Restrictions. The Perspective of Nursing Students with Primary Dysmenorrhea.

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public health
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Primary dysmenorrhea (PD) affects a large number of female university students, diminishing their quality of life and hindering academic performance, representing a significant cause of absenteeism. The purpose of our study was to determine how nursing students experienced restrictions as a result of primary dysmenorrhea. A qualitative exploratory study was conducted among 33 nursing students with primary dysmenorrhea. A purposeful sampling strategy was applied. Data were collected from five focus groups (two sessions each) and the field notes of 10 researchers. A video meeting platform was used to conduct the focus groups. A thematic inductive analysis was performed. Thirty-three female nursing students participated in the study with a mean age of 22.72 (SD 3.46) years. Three broad themes emerged: (a) restrictions on daily activities and sports; (b) academic restrictions, and (c) restrictions on social and sexual relationships. The students described restrictions in performing everyday activities, such as carrying weight, and shopping. Some students even gave up the practice of sports and were absent from classes at the university, and from clinical practices at the hospital. The pain affected their ability to maintain and create new social relationships. Primary dysmenorrhea caused restrictions in the personal, social and academic life of the nursing students.

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Dysmenorrhea, Pelvic pain, Nursing students, Qualitative research