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Development of the Military Women's Attitudes Toward Menstrual Suppression Scale: From Construct Definition to Pilot Testing

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The Military Women's Attitudes Toward Menstrual Suppression scale (MWATMS) was created to measure attitudes toward menstrual suppression during deployment. The human health and social ecology theories were integrated to conceptualize an instrument that accounts for military-unique aspects of the environment on attitudes toward suppression. A three-step instrument development process was followed to develop the MWATMS. The instrument was pilot tested on a convenience sample of 206 military women with deployment experience. Reliability was tested with measures of internal consistency (alpha = .97); validity was tested with principal components analysis with varimax rotation. Four components accounted for 65% of variance: Benefits/Interest, Hygiene, Convenience, and Soldier/Stress. The pilot test of the MWATMS supported its reliability and validity. Further testing is warranted for validation of this instrument.

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									Journal of Nursing Measurement, Volume 17, Number 1, 2009




        Development of the Military
    Women’s Attitudes Toward Menstrual
     Suppression Scale: From Construct
         Definition to Pilot Testing
     Lori L. Trego, PhD, CNM, MN, LTC, U.S. Army Nurse Corps
                       Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii

     The Military WomenÊs Attitudes Toward Menstrual Suppression scale (MWATMS) was
     created to measure attitudes toward menstrual suppression during deployment. The
     human health and social ecology theories were integrated to conceptualize an instru-
     ment that accounts for military-unique aspects of the environment on attitudes toward
     suppression. A three-step instrument development process was followed to develop the
     MWATMS. The instrument was pilot tested on a convenience sample of 206 military
     women with deployment experience. Reliability was tested with measures of internal
     consistency (α = .97); validity was tested with principal components analysis with
     varimax rotation. Four components accounted for 65% of variance: Benefits/ Interest,
     Hygiene, Convenience, and Soldier/Stress. The pilot test of the MWATMS supported its
     reliability and validity. Further testing is warranted for validation of this instrument.


     Keywords: menstrual suppression; menstruation; continuous contraception; military
     womenÊs health




M
           enstrual suppression entered the mainstream of U.S. womenÊs health practices
           with the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationÊs approval of Seasonale, the 91-day
           cycle of combined oral contraceptives (OC). In the literature on U.S. womenÊs
and providersÊ attitudes toward menstrual suppression, common reasons for suppressing
menstruation are cited: to decrease pain, flow, symptoms of menstrual disorders, and
required supplies (Andrist, Arias, et al., 2004; Andrist, Hoyt, Weinstein, & McGibbon,
2004; Edelman, 2002; Kaunitz, 2000). Several reports suggest that women in the military
would benefit from menstrual suppression, specifically through the continuous use of OCs
(Christopher & Miller, 2007; Kaunitz, 2000; Powell-Dunford, Deuster, Claybaugh, &
Chapin, 2003; Ritchie, 2001). While military women have expressed a desire to avoid
menstruation during deployment, few utilize OCs for that purpose (Powell-Dunford et al.,
2003; Thomson & Nielsen, 2006; Wardell & Czerwinski, 2001).
   During deployment on military operations, women often endure prolonged changes in
their environments and daily activities. Menstrual suppression may be seen as an alterna-
tive to experiencing menstruation in this environment, yet, according to Powell-Dunford
et al. (2003) only 7% of surveyed U.S. Army women (N = 154) reported trying continu-
ous OCs for this purpose. Thus, there appears to be a gap between womenÊs desires for

© 2009 Springer Publishing Company                                                               45
DOI: 10.1891/1061-3749.17.1.45
46                                                                                   Trego

								
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