The Development of a Menstrual Distress Questionnaire

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The development of a Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ) is described. Each of 839 women rated their experience of 47 symptoms on a six-point scale separately for the menstrual, premenstrual, and intermenstrual phases of her most recent menstrual cycle and for her worst menstrual cycle. The 47 symptoms were intercorrelated and factor analyzed separately for each phase, and eight basically replicated factors were extracted from each of these analyses. These factors, which represent separate but empirically intercorrelated clusters of symptoms, were labeled pain, concentration, behavioral change, autonomic reactions, water retention, r gative affect, arousal, and control. Scores on these eight clusters of symptoms were slightly correlated with age and parity. The scores were not affected by the specific menstrual cycle phase a woman was in when filling out the questionnaire or by the length of time since the woman had experienced the symptoms. Menstrual cycle symptom-profiles graphically depicting a woman's menstrual symptomatology were constructed and illustrated. The need for and utility of standard methods with which to measure menstrual cycle symptomatology is discussed.

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