Well-being and menopause: An investigation of purpose in life, self-acceptance and social role in premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women
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- Deeks, A.A. & McCabe, M.P. Qual Life Res (2004) 13: 389. doi:10.1023/B:QURE.0000018506.33706.05
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Objectives: Many studies have investigated anxiety and depression during the menopausal transition. However, there is little understanding of positive aspects of well-being among menopausal women. This paper reports on two studies which investigated how menopausal stage and age accounted for how women felt about their purpose in life, self-acceptance and social role. Method: In Study One, 304 women from a community sample completed structured questionnaires which included questions relating to demographic background and two subscales of the Psychological Well-being Inventory: purpose in life and self-acceptance. In Study Two, 203 participants from Study One returned a follow-up structured questionnaire related to purpose in life and social role. Results: Study One found that the effects of age group and menopausal group could not be separated: All women felt they would be more positive about these well-being measures in the future than they had been in the past and at present. Study Two found that women who were perimenopausal and postmenopausal did not feel as positive about their role/s in life as premenopausal women, regardless of their age. Conclusions: The results suggest that the menopause may indicate to women that their role/purpose in life is changing. It is important that any understanding of the menopause incorporate psychosocial aspects of women's lives. Further longitudinal studies are needed to explore well-being factors and the menopause.