Research Proposal

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  • Topic: Menstrual cycle, Menstruation, Acupuncture
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Proposal for the Approval of a Master’s Research project

Chinese Herbal Medicine for the treatment of Dysmenorrhea: a Community-based Qualitative Study

Cindy Méndez Pendavis Supervisor: Dr Chris Low

February 2011

Proposal for the Approval of a Master’s Research project
1. Title page
1.1 Student number Cindy Méndez Pendavis 1.2 Working title of research project

Chinese Herbal Medicine for the treatment of Dysmenorrhea: a Community-based Qualitative Study 1.3 Title of the course

MSc in Chinese herbal medicine 1.4 Generic design

Uncontrolled prospective naturalistic study 2.1 Research problem

Can primary dysmenorrhea be effectively treated with Chinese herbal medicine? 2.2 Aim/s of research project

To determine the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. 2.3 Objectives of the research project To assess differences in the efficacy of Chinese herbal formulations To study the relation between the degree of pain and the Chinese Medicine syndrome To study the relation between age of participants and degree of menstrual pain To study the relationship between the number of years with a history of menstrual pain and the time to achieve a response to the treatment 2.4 Hypothesis to be tested (if applicable)

Chinese herbal medicine will be efficacious in reducing menstrual pain in a large proportion of women with primary dysmenorrhea.

3.

Rational and context of research topic

Dysmenorrhoea is a common condition that occurs between 52% to 90% of women (Weissman et al. 2004). Dysmenorrhoea is severe enough to cause absence from work occurs in less than 5% of women(Weissman et al. 2004). Primary dysmenorrhea refers to a severe pain with no identifiable pelvis pathology that accounts for painful menstruation (Daniels & Khan 2010)(Smith et al. 2010).

Cindy Méndez Pendavis Proposal for the approval of a master’s research project

2

A study conducted in Madrid, Spain (Larroy, C et al. 2001) showed that 62% of women suffer menstrual pain Dysmenorrhea represents a significant personal and public health problem and represents a common complaint in both adolescent and adult women. There are three conventional approaches to the management of primary dysmenorrhea: pharmacological, nonpharmacological and surgical. Conventional pharmacological

treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), oral contraceptives, danazol, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, medroxyprogesterone acetate, presacral neurectomy, uterosacral neurectomy and trascutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (Daniels & Khan 2010). Interestingly, some conventional medicine books include acupuncture as a valid treatment for pelvic pain (Daniels & Khan 2010). However, despite this wealth of treatments pain relief may be inadequate for some women, or side effects may not be well tolerated. Given that conventional treatment for primary dysmenorrhoea has a failure rate of 20% to 25% and may be contraindicated or not tolerated by some women (Xiaoshu Zhu et al. 2010), Chinese herbal medicine may be a suitable alternative. Zuo Yanfu et al. (Zuo Yanfu et al. 2006) proposed that dysmenorrhea is usually caused by 1) emotional factors, invasion of six exogenous pathogenic factors and stagnation of qi and blood; 2) retention of blood in the uterus due to liver depression and qi stagnation resulting from emotional upsets; 3) cold-dampness attacking the lower energizer and lodging in the uterus due to walking in water during menstruation or sitting on damp ground; 4) constitutional deficiency of qi and blood, or consumption of qi and blood due to serious disease and prolonged illness; or 5) congenital defect or impairment of the liver and kidney, consumption of blood and malnutrition of the uterus due to multiparity and excessive sexual life. A recent Cochrane review found promising evidence for the use of Chinese herbal medicine in reducing menstrual pain in the treatment of primary...
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