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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007 Nov;19(11):602-13.

Perimenopausal symptoms, quality of life, and health behaviors in users and nonusers of hormone therapy.

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University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-6330, USA.



This pilot study was designed to determine the difference in frequency and distress related to perimenopausal symptoms in users and nonusers of hormone therapy (HT), to identify the difference in quality of life (QoL) indicators, and to determine if there is a relationship between QoL and frequency and distress of symptoms for users and nonusers of HT between the ages of 40 and 55 years.


Self-reported responses to the Perimenopause Assessment Questionnaire with five QoL indicators imbedded, the Women's Health Assessment Scale, height, weight, and body mass index from 77 users and 89 nonusers of HT.


More users reported using HT to control perimenopausal symptoms than for birth control or gynecological problems. Nonusers reported a higher percentage of a variety of symptoms compared to users, with more psychosomatic symptoms being reported. Both groups identified lack of energy as the most frequent and distressful symptom. There was a significant difference in frequency of symptoms between groups and a significant difference in distress of symptoms. There were significant negative correlations with the five QoL indicators and frequency and distress of symptoms for users and nonusers of HT, with exception of stress and frequency of symptoms for users. More psychosomatic symptoms were correlated with QoL for nonusers. Cold sweats, loss of interest, miserable and sad, and life not worth living were highly significant for nonusers with QoL, while feeling unattractive, decreased well-being, and lack of enjoyment for users was highly significant.


Perimenopause is more than hot flashes and abnormal menses. A checklist of perimenopausal symptoms should be used as an assessment tool at each annual visit or more frequently to determine the significance of the symptoms a woman might be experiencing. Assessing the perimenopausal knowledge base is very important. Most importantly, there is a need for perimenopausal educational programs to be developed and implemented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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