The association of gynecological symptoms with psychological distress in women of reproductive age: A survey from gynecology clinics in Beirut, Lebanon

M. M. Chaaya, H. R. Bogner, J. J. Gallo, P. J. Leaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To date there has been no previous research into a possible association between psychological distress and gynecologic symptoms in the Arab world. We hypothesized that psychological distress would be associated with specific gynecologic complaints as well as with psychosocial factors. We conducted a cross-sectional study of women attending gynecology clinics in Beirut, Lebanon. The study sample consisted of 355 women aged 18 to 49 years who were seeking healthcare from gynecologists affiliated with two general teaching hospitals in Beirut. Psychological distress was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Gynecologic complaints were assessed by asking women about presenting gynecologic symptoms. Women who visited the gynecologists for specific complaints, for post-surgical follow-up, or for insertion of coils or other services were more likely to be distressed than women who were attending for a general checkup (χ2 = 9.466, p = 0.024). About 50% of women who reported abdominal pain or breast pain also reported significant psychological distress. Only bleeding and infertility were not significantly associated with psychological distress. It is concluded that a high proportion of women who attend gynecology clinics with specific complaints report psychological distress. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the psychological component of gynecological morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gynecology
  • Primary health care
  • Psychiatric epidemiology
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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