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Climacteric. 2000 Mar;3(1):33-42.

Psychosocial factors, attitude to menopause and symptoms in Swedish perimenopausal women.

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1
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To analyze attitude to menopause from women's own accounts and to examine whether psychosocial factors and attitude are associated with symptom reporting.

METHODS:

The data form part of a population-based longitudinal study of a cohort of women who have been followed annually for 5 years using psychological interviews and rating scales, health screening and hormonal characterization. The data reported here were collected at the fourth follow-up when the women (n = 148) were 53 years old.

RESULTS:

Women were classified as perimenopausal (27%), postmenopausal (15%), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) users (52%) and hysterectomized (6%), based on self-reports. More than half the women (51%) had a positive attitude to menopause, 24% had a negative attitude and 25% had a neutral attitude. Menopausal status was not associated with attitude to menopause. Factor analysis of symptom ratings yielded ten independent factors comprising negative mood, vasomotor symptoms, decreased sexual desire, memory problems, sleep-related symptoms, vaginal dryness, urogenital problems, joint pain, vitality and increased sexual desire. Only vasomotor symptoms and joint pain were associated with menopausal status. The other symptoms were more strongly related to psychosocial factors, life-style and attitude to menopause.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results support the view of the menopause as a developmental phase associated with an increased self-awareness and a stronger personal identity. More than half the women held a positive view of the menopause, whereas the remaining proportion of women had either a negative or a neutral attitude. Only vasomotor symptoms and joint pain were associated with postmenopausal status. Other symptoms were significantly related to psychosocial factors, life-style and attitude to menopause.

PMID:
11910608
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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