Menopausal symptom perception and severity: Results from a screening questionnaire

Judith A. Berg, Cheryl A. Larson, Alice E. Pasvogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Although it is widely acknowledged women experience symptoms during their transition from reproductive to postreproductive stage, there is inconsistency as to the prevalence of symptoms as well as their severity ratings. Aim and objectives. The purpose of this study was to describe symptom perception and severity in mid-life women volunteering for an intervention study for menopause symptom management. Design. A cross-sectional descriptive design was used to provide data on presenting symptoms in a sample of women negotiating the menopausal transition. Methods. A community-based sample of Caucasian women aged 43-55 years was recruited from national nursing media, local media and a variety of local community sources. A screening questionnaire was administered to determine qualification for study entry based upon symptom severity scores from the questionnaire. This report includes results from the screening questionnaire. Results. One hundred and sixty-five women were screened to obtain 110 qualified participants with mean age of 49·3 SD 3·04 years who were 4·7 SD 7 months past their last menstrual period. Sleep difficulties, forgetfulness and irritability were perceived by the highest number of women while sleep difficulties, night sweats, irritability and forgetfulness were rated the most severe. Conclusions. Findings from this study expand understanding of the menopause symptom experience, because few reports include symptom severity reports. All aspects of the symptom experience are necessary to develop appropriate interventions and to evaluate them. Relevance to clinical practice. Providing education about menopause symptoms is central to nursing practice of mid-life women. Therefore, nurses must keep abreast of current knowledge to prepare women for their transition to postreproductive phase or to reassure women who are surprised to find hot flashes are not the only symptoms encountered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-948
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Menopause symptoms
  • Nurses
  • Nursing
  • Reproduction
  • Severity
  • Symptom perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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