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Menstrual Pain among University Students in Ireland

This research study is investigating Primary Dysmenorrhea (Common Menstrual Pain) among University Students in Ireland. It aims to explore the prevalence and impact of Primary Dysmenorrhea as well as find out what coping strategies people use to manage their menstrual pain.

My name is Katie Monahan. I am in the final year of my Undergraduate Psychology degree at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I am carrying out a study on Primary Dysmenorrhea (Common Menstrual Pain) among University Students in Ireland. I am working under the supervision of Professor Brian McGuire and Dr Hannah Durand. I am specifically looking at the prevalence of Primary Dysmenorrhea in University Students in Ireland, the impact it has on their daily lives, the strategies used to cope with menstrual pain and the perceived effectiveness of these.

You are invited to take part in this research study on ‘Menstrual Pain among University Students in Ireland’. To be eligible to take part in the study you must be aged 18 or older and menstruate. It is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. This Participant Information Sheet tells you about the purpose, risks and benefits of this research study. If you agree to take part, you will be asked to consent to the study in order to continue. Please take as much time as you need to read this information. You should only consent to participate in this research study when you feel you understand what is being asked of you, and you have had enough time to think about your decision. Thank you for reading this.

Purpose of the Study

This study aims to explore the prevalence and impact of Primary Dysmenorrhea among University students in Ireland. It aims to find out what coping strategies people use to manage their menstrual pain and how effective they perceive these strategies to be. As part of this study you will be asked questions relating to your own menstrual cycle, pain and coping strategies.

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide to take part, you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving any reason. A decision to withdraw at any time, or a decision not to take part, will not affect your rights in any way.

What will happen to me if I take part?

Should you choose to take part this study requires you to answer a five-page short questionnaire on your menstrual patterns, pain and coping strategies. Most answers require you to choose from the list of answer options by ticking boxes. This study is entirely carried out online, so you are not required to meet the researcher at any stage. Your responsibility as a participant is to answer questions honestly and accurately.

How long will my part in the study last?

The online study will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.

What are the possible benefits in taking part?

There are no material incentives to participate. However, taking part in this study can be enlightening, you may learn more about or become more aware of your own menstrual patterns, pain and coping strategies. This study will contribute to high quality data in this area of pain research. This research will help to raise awareness about and reduce the normalization of disabling dysmenorrhea.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

There are no foreseeable risks attached to taking part. However, there is some potential for participants to become minorly distressed or embarrassed when answering questions about their pain and related psychological factors. Some questions may be perceived as sensitive and hence a private place is recommended for completing the study. All data will be completely anonymous, treated with confidentiality and presented at group levels only.

What happens at the end of the study?

At the end of the online study you will be thanked for your participation and asked to email the researcher if you wish to be added to a mailing list. People on this mailing list will receive a short summary of the results of the study. For those of you who are 1st or 2nd year Psychology students at NUIG participating through the Sona system, you need to follow a link at the end of the survey in order to receive credits for your participation. 

What happens if I change my mind during the study?

You are entitled to change your mind about participating in this study at any time without disadvantage or penalty. You may opt-out of the study at any time simply by exiting the survey. As data in this study will be completely anonymous it is important to note that if you proceed with the study but later wish to have your data removed from the data set it may be difficult to select that data because of the anonymous nature of the study.

Who do I contact for more information or if I have further concerns?

The researcher can be contacted via email at K.Monahan5@nuigalway.ie

The researcher supervisors on this project can be contacted at brian.mcguire@nuigalway.ie and Hannah.durand@nuigalway.ie

If you have any concerns about this study and wish to contact someone in confidence, you may contact: The Head of School (Dr. John Bogue), School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway at john.bogue@nuigalway.ie or 091493266.

The following support services are available if you wish to seek out support for any of the issues discussed in this study:

Student Health Unit NUIG: The practice operates a walk-in service Monday – Friday (9.15am - 12.30pm & 2.30pm - 4.30pm) 091-492604. Monday-Thursday (After 6pm) the contact emergency number is 0872623997. Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday (Daytime 8am-6pm) Citydoc, Bon Secour Hospital 091 758008. Friday, Saturday & Sunday (Evening 6pm-8am) Galway City GP Rota: 087-7744430.

Student Counselling Service NUIG: In order to get an appointment with you need to attend a drop-in service. The drop-in service is open during term time Monday to Friday 2-4pm at 5 Distillary Road. Direct Tel: 091 492484, E-mail: counselling@nuigalway.ie.

For those participating who are not students in NUIG they are urged to contact their own University’s Health Unit or Counselling Services or General Practitioner if this study has raised any health concerns. To find a GP in your area, contact the Irish College of General Practitioners on 01 676 3705.

Pieta House: You can phone the free Pieta House 24-hour helpline on 1800247247 Or, alternatively, text HELP to 51444.

Aware: Monday to Sunday from 10am - 10pm at 1800804848. Email: supportmail@aware.ie

Samaritans: Call 116 123 for free day or night, 365 days a year. Email jo@samaritans.ie


By ticking the consent box to continue you are indicating that you have read and understood the participant information, are over the age of 18, that your participation is voluntary and you can withdraw at any time witout your rights being affected and that you agree to take part in the study.