Health services failing women with PMS.

” Poor GP awareness of PMS is leading to mis-diagnosis and mis-prescibing with harmful consequences for women” says the National Association of Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS).

This month sees the official launch of a 2 year professional training programme in integrated medicine for medical doctors and nurse practitioners. Developed by The British College of
Integrated Medicine (, and inspired by Dr Andrew Weil's highly successful Integrated Medicine Training Programme based at the University of Arizona in America, this pioneering training programme aims to facilitate the emergence of a new generation of doctors and nurse practitioners who are committed to the practice and
philosophy of integrated medicine.

Dr Mark Atkinson, Founder of The British College of Integrated Medicine defines integrated medicine as a proactive, patient-entred, whole-person approach to health, healing and human
flourishing. It involves the co-ordinated and integrated provision of individually tailored health and wellbeing programmes which are designed to:
i)    empower the patient to take an active and informed role in their own healing and recovery
ii)   address and resolve the underlying barriers to optimum health and healing
iii)  provide the knowledge, skills, resources and support so that individuals can take better care of their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health.
Rather than limiting treatments and recommendations to a specific specialty, integrated medicine uses the safest and most effective combination of approaches and treatments from
allopathic and complementary medicine. These are selected according to a combination of evidence-based practice, and the expertise, experience and insight of the individuals and team
members caring for the patient

The practice and provision of integrated medicine is well established in the USA, where there are more than 500 trained integrated medical doctors and numerous specialist integrated
medical centres throughout the US. Most medical schools in the USA have integrated medicine incorporated into their curriculum. The focus is now very much on repeating the US in Europe, and the launch of The British College of Integrated Medicine is very much seen within medical circles as a significant step towards achieving that.

The arrival of the college and its training courses, have been hailed as an important step forward for the medical profession.

"I am delighted to be supporting The British College of Integrated Medicine and their post-graduate training courses", said Professor Karol Sikora - Professor of Cancer Medicine,
Hammersmith Hospital, London. "The integrated medical approach to health and healing combines evidence-based practices, with the expertise, experience and insight of healthcare
practitioners in a way that is designed to provide patients with an individually tailored health and wellbeing programme. It is an empowering and innovative form of medicine that will have a significant and positive influence in British healthcare in the years to come."
The college also offers one of the world's most comprehensive training programmes in mind-body medicine. This 1 year programme has been designed to provide healthcare
professionals with a high level of training in an eclectic mix of psychological and emotional skills and techniques for facilitating health, healing and personal growth.

Full details about the college and all courses and workshops can be found by visiting


Media Contact
Dr Mark Atkinson is the founder of the British College of
Integrated Medicine, Chairman of The British Society of
Integrated Medicine and Author of The Mind-Body Bible. He is
available for interviews and enquiries.

Telephone:         0845 0945452
Personal Website:
NAPS is responding to evidence provided by over 200 women with PMS who have objected to the Association that GP treatment decisions that are being made without any attempt to investigate the correlation with their reproductive cycle.

“Many women with PMS are being categorised as mentally ill and prescribed aggressive medication, notably antidepressants, without evidence of clinical depression,” says NAPS Chief Executive Chris Ryan . This might explain some of the growth the prescribing of anti-depressants to women.  Good PMS clinical practice for GP’s isolates those symptoms arising specifically from the menstrual cycle in women of reproductive age to avoid treatment and prescribing that not address the cause of ill health.”

NAPS says:

“PMS mis-diagnosis of PMS has potentially profound implications:

   1. Erroneous mental health diagnosis is recorded in the patient medical notes. This influences subsequent contact with health services.
   2. Employment prospects are affected. Research shows that below 40% of employers would employ someone with a mental health problem.
   3. It damages self-confidence; women feel stigmatised by the diagnosis.
   4. People with recorded depression are assessed as a greater risk for insurance purposes and can find cover difficult to obtain.”

NAPS Chief Executive Chris Ryan says:

“All women patients of reproductive age with psychological symptoms should keep a health diary for two months and plot their symptoms against their menstrual cycle. This evidence will improve diagnosis significantly.”

Editorial Notes

Depression is the most common symptom affecting women during the premenstrual phase of their reproductive cycle.  Over 50 per cent of women with PMS in a recent 1000 women study by NAPS reported depression as their most frequent symptom.

The NAPS conclusions follow those by leading psychiatrist Professor Gordon Parker, who in a recent BMJ report concluded “too many doctors are over-diagnosing depression with thousands wrongly prescribed antidepressants.”

NAPS says: “When women of reproductive age present with psychological symptoms, including depression, severe mood changes, aggression and anger, GP’s need to assess the potential menstrual trigger and offer a range of hormonal focused treatments.”  

Further information; call Chris Ryan 07946 872868; 0870 7772178; or via

Healthcare Republic does not have an editorial influence or input in to these press releases. The views expressed within these documents are not endorsed by Healthcare Republic or Haymarket Medical Publications Limited.

Enquiries should be directed to any contacts listed within the press releases.


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