Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Teresa Riney 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

Teresa Riney studied to achieve a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Psychology. While studying Teresa worked in numerous retail stores, and as a social care worker in The Peter McVerry Trust. Teresa volunteered as an assistant teacher in a new Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program ran in primary schools throughout Ireland called MOTUS Learning. Children were led through the essential life skills essential to create positive emotional relationships with themselves. Further interests circulate the movement of creating a more conscious consumer, within the realms of social psychology.

Investigating the difference between offline and online support for people with Dysmenorrhea in order to improve support, awareness, and knowledge.

Dysmenorrhea, is the pain people experience throughout their menstrual cycle, frequently understated for the problems associated, people turn to support groups for knowledge awareness and support. From the literature many people struggle to manage their symptoms of Dysmenorrhea, often finding the experience isolating and needing to turn to others outside their lives for support. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the benefits, and differences between online, and offline support groups in order to discover the problems associated with both. this investigation was carried out as a means to improve support awareness and knowledge for people suffering from Dysmenorrhea.

Project Description

This study used a qualitative thematic analysis carried out on an online survey which was distributed through online support groups platforms for people with Dysmenorrhea. The research findings intend to discover the changes that are needed within support groups for dysmenorrhea in order to enhance support awareness and knowledge. Data was collected from 9 participants that identified with either using online or offline support groups or both. The inclusive criteria were people who experienced period pain and used either online support groups or offline support groups. Participation was voluntary, links to the survey were posted through Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The thematic analysis was carried out with the assistance of Miro and Word Art word clouds.

Project Findings

The study highlighted three important findings, demonstrating the need for more help, support, and education needed for people dealing with Dysmenorrhea and also for the community. There was no significant difference found between the offline and online support groups in terms of the results. The only difference was in the offline support groups which experienced a lot more criticism from family and friends. The findings of this research may be employed to encourage more widespread education in communities and schools, in order to allow dysmenorrhea to become a part of daily conversations. Consequences from this would improve help and support for people suffering with Dysmenorrhea. Improving community relations with people who are suffering from dysmenorrhea may encourage a larger circulation of information to manage symptoms and a better acceptance and understanding of the problems associated with it. Educational organisations may be interested in these findings, also support groups administrators may find the results useful for improving the regulations and rules of the community support groups