March 7, 2011
As a professional counselor working at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s Coimbatore campus, Dr C. S. Sowndaram enjoys being able to make a difference in students’ lives.
Counseling students to help them through problems has always been her passion, and she never passes an opportunity to do so.
Having a strong background in counseling and lecturing at various universities and de-addiction centers has enabled Dr. Sowndaram bring a very insightful perspective to Amrita.
The counselor received a best presenter award at the University Grants Commission sponsored National Conference on Inclusive Development – A Social Science Perspective, in early December 2010 in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.
Her paper titled A Study of Effectiveness of Physical Exercise and Psychological Intervention on Menstrual Distress among College Students, is summarized below.
The study was conducted on seventy unmarried undergraduate students attending college in Tiruchirappalli. Half of this sample; ie thirty-five students comprised the experimental group. These students underwent a regular exercise routine and psychological intervention.
The routine included physical exercise, relaxation, systematic desensitization and an educational program. This was evaluated to determine its efficiency in decreasing the severity of menstrual distress.
“We gave students all sorts of instructions and helped them understand the anxiety they felt during those days,” shared Dr. Sowndaram. “Physical fitness included a few abdominal exercises to relax the muscles.”
The other thirty-five students made up the control group, to whom this routine was not administered.
A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test control group design was used. The Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered. These are some of the most widely used methods to ascertain premenstrual variables on available samples.
Extraneous variables such as age, family, monthly income and health status were also examined.
The independent t-test was used for a statistical analysis of the data. The analysis revealed a significant positive impact on the alleviation of menstrual distress among experimental group members.
No significant differences were found in the control group members in terms of pre-test and post-test menstrual distress. This suggested that intervention was the possible source of reduction in menstrual distress of the experimental group members.
“We came to the conclusion that intervening in the stress period, using some of the basic relaxation techniques, did have a positive effect on students undergoing menstrual stress,” said Dr. Sowndaram.
“You should feel proud to be a woman. It’s natural to have menstrual stress, and it can be dealt with using some simple techniques, and becoming educated with the problem.”