Psychological intervention for premenstrual syndrome: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Jason W. Busse, Victor M. Montori, Catherine Krasnik, Irene Patelis-Siotis, Gordon H. Guyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of psychological interventions for premenstrual syndrome. Methods: We systematically searched and selected studies that enrolled women with premenstrual syndrome in which investigators randomly assigned them to a psychological intervention or to a control intervention. Trials were included irrespective of their outcomes and, when possible, we conducted meta-analyses. Results: Nine randomized trials, of which 5 tested cognitive behavioural therapy, contributed data to the meta-analyses. Low quality evidence (design and implementation weaknesses of the studies, possible reporting bias) suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy significantly reduces both anxiety (effect size [ES] = -0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -1.15 to -0.01; number needed to treat [NNT] = 5), and depression (ES = -0.55; 95% CI = -1.05 to -0.05; NNT = 5), and also suggests a possible beneficial effect on behavioural changes (ES = -0.70; 95% CI = -1.29 to -0.10; NNT = 4) and interference of symptoms on daily living (ES = -0.78; 95% CI = -1.53 to -0.03; NNT = 4). Results provide much more limited support for monitoring as a form of therapy and suggest the ineffectiveness of education. Conclusions: Low quality evidence from randomized trials suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy may have important beneficial effects in managing symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Behaviour therapy
  • Meta-analysis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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