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17 Pages

Premenstrual Syndrome: A Selective Review

WithJudith M. Abplanalp

This review considers premenstrual syndrome (PMS) from the point of view of definitional issues, treatment issues, and the impact of the recent popularization of the syndrome. With respect to definition, problems include the lack of a consensus among researchers and clinicians concerning number, combination, and variety of symptoms, time cause, criteria for patient/subject selection, relationship of psychiatric disorder(s) to PMS, and determination of the existence of several PMS syndromes vs. one syndrome. Given the problems with definition, recommendations about appropriate treatment are difficult. Most treatment trials have lacked adequate controls for evaluation of placebo effects. The popularization of PMS but the mass media has raised collective consciousness about the syndrome but may also have raised hopes prematurely for a "cure."