Table 4

Distribution and frequency of self-care strategies among college girls with primary dysmenorrhea

CategoriesThemesSelf-care strategiesn%
Lifestyle changesCarefully select diet (n=979, 79.5%)Avoid cold drinks and foods91474.2
Avoid spicy greasy foods61049.6
Avoid caffeine and sugary foods51041.4
Warm beverages93275.7
Reduce physical activity (n=1165, 94.6%)Reduce physical activity116594.6
Keep warm (n=1041, 84.6%)Keep warm104184.6
Symptom managementSelf-medicate (n=428, 34.8%)Take Western medicine32326.2
Take traditional Chinese medicine23619.2
Complementary therapies (n=695, 56.5%)Heat therapy69456.4
Massage50.4
Acupuncture50.4
Self-regulation of negative emotions (n=899, 73.0%)Take part in distracting activities27722.5
Expressing emotional33927.5
Self-talk to endure it68655.7
Communicate dysmenorrhea with othersCommunicate dysmenorrhea with others (n=1099, 89.3%)Communicate with mother90373.4
Communicate with friends or classmates97279.0
Communicate with other family member22118.0
Communicate with teacher584.7
Seek medical adviceSeek medical advice (n=337, 27.4%)Consult a Western doctor17013.8
Consult a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine21017.1