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Menopause. 1998 Winter;5(4):197-202.

Women and menopause: beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The North American Menopause Society 1997 Menopause Survey.

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1
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The main purpose in organizing this survey was to collect information relevant to The North American Menopause Society's (NAMS) educational mission and to document women's knowledge of, and attitudes toward, menopause.

DESIGN:

During June-July 1997, The Gallup Organization conducted 750 telephone interviews with a randomly selected sample of women 45-60 years of age from across the United States. Women were asked about their sources of information on menopause, what changes in health they anticipated as a result of menopause, why they used hormone therapy, and their attitudes toward menopause as a natural or a medical event.

RESULTS:

Women are more likely to believe that depression and irritability are associated with menopause than heart disease, but only a few associate menopause with an increasing vulnerability to either memory loss or Alzheimer's disease. Relief of physical symptoms of menopause was mentioned as the reason for starting hormone therapy more often than to protect against osteoporosis (25% relative to 15%), or to prevent stroke or a heart attack (10%), or to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (2%). The single main source of women's information on menopause was a health professional (49%). The majority of women who were already menopausal or experiencing menstrual changes expressed an attitude toward menopause that was either neutral (42%) or positive (36%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Women are divided in their views of menopause, some seeing it as a medical condition requiring medical treatment, whereas others see it as a natural transition to be managed by "natural" means. Providing women with accurate, up-to-date information and enhancing communication between healthcare providers and menopausal women remain the challenges for NAMS.

PMID:
9872483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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