|dc.description.abstract||This study was intended to evaluate the efficacy of homoeopathic simillimum in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The sample group consisted of women between the ages of eighteen and forty, living in the greater Durban area. PMS is a condition characterized by nervousness, irritability, anxiety, depression, and possibly headaches, oedema, and mastalgia, occurring during the 7 to 10 days before and usually disappearing a few hours after the onset of menses (Beers and Berkow, 1999:1932-1933). 75% of all women suffer from PMS to some degree (Hayman, 1996). A total of 39 participants with PMS were selected for the study on the basis of inclusion and exclusion criteria (Chapter 3). Participants were randomly divided into 2 groups (treatment and placebo) according to the randomisation sheet. There were 12 withdrawals from the study. 27 of the participants completed the study of which, 14 were on placebo treatment and 13 on active treatment. The treatment followed the initial consultation, which consisted of 3 powders containing either active ingredient (i.e. simillimum) or matching placebo and a 20ml bottle of liquid containing either active ingredient or placebo. Each participant was required to take one powder daily for three days from day 10 of their menstrual cycle followed by liquid treatment daily till onset of menstruation. Each participant had 3 consultations with the researcher over a 3 month period; each consultation a month apart. Menstrual Distress Questionnaires (Appendix A) were completed by the participants at each consultation.
The data accumulated via the questionnaires was evaluated using non-parametric tests and analyzed statistically using the Wilcoxon’s Signed rank
test and the Kruskal Wallis test. The results were analysed at a 95% confidence rating with p ≤ 0.05. Data was analysed using the SPSS (version 15.1 ®) for Windows ® statistical software suite. The intra-group analysis showed statistically significant changes in the subgroups of water retention (p=.020) and appetite changes (p=.010) in the Treatment Group. The Placebo Group showed statistical significant changes in the subgroups of concentration (p=.029), autonomic reaction (p=.013) and appetite changes (p=.035). The inter-group analysis failed to reveal any statistical significance. Therefore, the conclusion is that homoeopathic simillimum was not effective in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). There were clinical improvements noted by participants during the study which suggest that more research into the treatment of PMS should be conducted. Studies with a larger sample group over a longer time frame with daily outcome measures would give a better indication of the efficacy of the homoeopathic simillimum on premenstrual syndrome.||en