Table 1. Characteristics of included studies.
Study n ParticipantsInterventionsComparatorsOutcomesResults
Abedy et al, 201430Sports club attendees, Iran (20–30 years)Two intervention groups: stretching exercise, resistance exercise; 8-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 60 minutes per sessionUsual careDaily Record of Severity of Problems (not clearly stated within text)Statistically significant reduction in psychological and behavioural symptoms at 8 weeks regardless of intervention type
Bibi, 199550University and community volunteers, US (18–45 years)Two intervention groups: moderate intensity aerobic stair stepping, low intensity aerobic stair stepping; 12-weeks duration, three sessions per weeks, 45 minutes per sessionUsual careDaily ratings formStatistically significant reduction in overall symptoms at 12 weeks regardless of intervention intensity
El-Lithy et al, 201530Outpatient clinic attendees, Egypt(16–20 years)Aerobic exercise with 50 mg vitamin B6 and 1200 mg calcium daily; 12-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 60 minutes per session50 mg vitamin B6 and 1200 mg calcium onlyModified Premenstrual Syndrome QuestionnaireStatistically significant reduction in overall, psychological, and behavioural symptoms at 12 weeks
Ilka et al, 201550Local residents, Iran(20–35 years)Pilates; 8-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 60 minutes per session, increasing in intensityUsual carePremenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (Iranian)Statistically significant reduction in symptoms at 8 weeks
Jafarnejad et al, 2016(additional duplicates)70University Students, Iran (20–40 years)Home-based aerobic exercise; 8-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 20 minutes per sessionUsual careDaily record of symptoms of premenstrual syndromeStatistically significant reduction in psychological and physical symptoms at 8 weeks
Kamalifard et al, 201762Outpatient clinic attendees, Iran(20–45 years)Yoga; 10-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 60 minutes per sessionUsual carePremenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (Iranian)Statistically significant reduction in psychological, physical, and behavioural symptoms at 10 weeks
Mosallanejad et al, 200740University students, Iran (18–25 years)Aerobic; 8-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 15–45 minutes per session (increasing over the 8 weeks)Not clearly reported, assumed usual careDaily Record of Severity of Problems (not clearly stated within text)Statistically significant reduction in psychological and physical symptoms at 8 weeks
Naeini, 200857Sports club attendees, Iran (18–40 years)Two intervention groups: 'aerobic', 'physical'; 12-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 20–30 minutes per sessionUsual careNot clearly describedStatistically significant reduction in overall symptoms at 12 weeks regardless of intervention type
Nazemi et al, 201540(20 included in this review)University students, Iran (18–25 years)Group water aerobics; 8-weeks duration, alternate day sessions, 80 minutes per sessionNot clearly reportedShort premenstrual assessment formStatistically significant reduction in symptoms at 8 weeks
Pazoki et al, 201648High school students, Iran (16–18 years)Aerobic exercise; 8-weeks duration, 60 minutes per session. Sessions per week not reportedUsual care (two other groups received fennel extract, and fennel extract with exercise)Daily Record of Severity of ProblemsStatistically significant reduction in overall symptoms at 8 weeks
Samadi et al, 201340University students, Iran (18–25 years)Aerobic exercise; 8-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 60 minutes per session. Hand weights added to one session per week, intensity gradually increasedUsual carePremenstrual syndrome standard option complaint check list (unvalidated tool)Statistically significant reduction in overall, psychological, and physical symptoms at 8 weeks
Tonekaboni et al, 201290Iran(no age range or recruitment pool given)Two aerobic exercise intervention groups: high intensity and moderate intensity; 12-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 50 minutes per session. Specialist supervision for all sessionsUsual careACOG Daily Symptoms Calendar (unvalidated tool)Statistically significant reduction in psychological and physical symptoms at 12 weeks
Yang and Kim, 201640Nursing students, Republic of Korea(18–25 years)Yoga; 12 weeks per duration, one session per week, 60 minutes per sessionUsual care (asked to refrain from practising yoga)Modified Short-Form Menstrual Distress QuestionnaireStatistically significant reduction in overall symptoms at 12 weeks
Yekke Fallah et al, 201370University students, Iran (18–32 years)Two intervention groups: aerobic, fast walking; 12-weeks duration, daily sessions, 30 minutes per sessionUsual careJack TipsReduction in psychological and physical symptoms at 12 weeks regardless of intervention; not statistically significant
Zoodfekr et al, 201740(20 included in this review)Hospital clinic patients, Iran (age range not reported)Aerobic exercise; 8-weeks duration, three sessions per week, 60 minutes per sessionConsumed placebo pill (two further intervention groups with different doses of curcumin pills)Dickerson QuestionnaireStatistically significant reduction in overall symptoms at 8 weeks