Remote intervention using smartphone for rural women suffering from premenstrual syndrome: A propensity score matched analysis

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Abstract

Timely treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is not always available for rural women, because the local medical resources are insufficient. The efficacy of remote intervention by smartphone on PMS has not been confirmed.

A retrospective analysis was performed on rural PMS patients between January 2014 and December 2015. After a propensity score matched analysis, 60 patients were enrolled and evenly divided into remote group and outpatient group. Multidisciplinary therapy including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), oral medication, and physical exercise education was used individually, in accordance with their symptoms evaluated by Daily Record of Severity of Problems (DRSP) questionnaire. Patients in remote group utilized WeChat software by smartphone for therapy guidance, while those in outpatient group attended face-to-face interview. Their DRSP scores in 5 new menstrual cycles after therapy were recorded. Then, they were followed up for 1 year.

Total DRSP scores of the cases in both groups after initial intervention were less than those before therapy (P < .001), without group difference (P > .05). However, patients in remote group indicated a higher satisfactory rate than the outpatient group (P = .03). On the 1-year follow up, patients in both groups demonstrated similar DRSP scores (P = .07), but the satisfactory rate in remote group was encouragingly higher than that in the outpatient group (P = .02).

The efficacy of remote intervention using smartphone on PMS is noninferior to traditional outpatient visits. Nevertheless, high-quality trials are needed.

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