Osteopathic management of dysmenorrhea: A qualitative snapshot of New Zealand women’s experiences

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Leys, Anna Elizabeth
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Aminian, Saeideh
Zoellner, Anja
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
pain management
quality of life
osteopathic medicine
Leys, A. E. (2022). Osteopathic management of dysmenorrhea: A qualitative snapshot of New Zealand women’s experiences. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5729
AIM The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of New Zealand women regarding the osteopathic management of their dysmenorrhea. DESIGN Qualitative descriptive exploratory study. METHODS A convenience sample of eight women with dysmenorrhea (age 25-46 years) from osteopathic clinics and support groups in Auckland, New Zealand, participated in semi-structured face-to-face interviews between March and July 2021. Voice recordings of interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded. Data analysis involved a thematic framework approach to identify Themes. RESULTS: Thematic analysis of women’s responses identified three main themes: impact of dysmenorrhea on women’s quality of life, osteopathy as an effective strategy for managing dysmenorrhea, and barriers to beginning osteopathic management. CONCLUSION This research contributes to the currently limited literature on women’s experiences of osteopathic management for their dysmenorrhea. While osteopathy cannot cure dysmenorrhea, it seems to be an effective management tool for the symptoms that accompany it. Alternative therapies such as osteopathy should be recommended to more women who are suffering in silence from this condition. IMPACT: Dysmenorrhea affects an estimated 45%-95% of women aged 13-50 years old worldwide. However, dysmenorrhea is still commonly disregarded by health care professionals and women themselves. This leads to women not taking their dysmenorrhea seriously and continuing to suffer from their symptoms, leading to other medical conditions later in life. Female participants in this research found osteopathy to be an effective strategy for managing symptoms of dysmenorrhea. These findings can help inform researchers and health practitioners on how osteopathy may be useful in managing women’s dysmenorrhea symptoms.
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