Advertisement

Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 331–338 | Cite as

Attitudes towards menopause in a group of women followed in a public service for menopause counseling

  • S. Betti
  • M. R. Orsini
  • R. Sciaky
  • C. Cristini
  • G. Cesa-Bianchi
  • G. F. Zandonini
Original Articles
  • 29 Downloads

Abstract

This preliminary study addressed some specific attitudes towards menopause, and behavioral styles in menopausal women.

The study was conducted during the period January–May 1998 at the Menopausal Service of the Magenta Hospital (Milano) in 88 women, representing almost one half of the patients followed during that period; 43 women were treated with HRT. Some traits characterizing women’s life during menopause were examined, such as presence of disturbing physical symptoms, changes in interests and discovery of new interests, and feelings of loss and uselessness. We used different psychological tests in order to evaluate anxiety and depression, in particular, the STAI (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), the SDS (Self-rating Depression Scale), and 16 cartoon-like images representing stereotypes of menopause.

The answers of our subjects showed high individual variation, with negative symptoms (e.g., hot flashes, memory loss) frequently associated with positive experiences (e.g., new hobbies, new life-styles). However, even the most frequent negative symptom (memory loss) was reported only by 70%. The experience of a change represented by menopause was described both in terms of objective change (e.g., weight increase, hot flashes, memory loss), and of subjective change (e.g., character, feeling of not being attractive, new life-styles). Treatment with HRT seems to reduce the onset of hot flashes considerably. The occurrence of anxious-depressive states was comparable to that observed in other studies; it was not associated with HRT, but rather to losses (loss of desire, memory loss, insomnia).

In conclusion, menopause represents a transitional moment in which physical and psychological changes are generally integrated by the persons experiencing them. In order to preserve a good quality of life in menopause, it seems relevant to check memory loss and stabilize the mood in persons who are most “at risk” of psychological disease.

Key words

Depression hormone replacement therapy (HRT) menopause psychological attitudes 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Cutler W.B., Garcia L.R.: Menopause - a guide for women and those who love them. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, London, 1992.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nachtigall L., Nachtigall R.D., Rattner Heilman J.: What every woman should know staying healthy after 40. Warner Books, New York, 1995.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barbach L.: The pause - Positive approaches to menopause. Penguin Books, New York, 1993.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sheehy G.: Il passaggio muto. Donne e menopausa. Rizzoli, Milano, 1993 (in Italian).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Piazza M., Saisi A.: La menopausa senza paure. Franco Angeli, Milano, 1995 (in Italian).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Spielberger C.D., Gorsuch R.L., Lushene R.E.: Manual for the state-trait anxiety inventory (self-evaluation questionnaire). Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA, 1970.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zung W.W.K.: A self-rating depression scale. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 12: 63–70, 1965.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nicol-Smith L.: Causality, menopause and depression: a critical review of the literature. BMJ 313: 1229–1232, 1996.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pearlstein T.B.: Hormones and depression: what are the facts about premenstrual syndrome, menopause and hormone replacement therapy? Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 173: 646–653, 1995.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Baker A., Simpson S., Dawson D.: Sleep disruption and mood changes associated with menopause. J. Psychosom. Res. 43: 359–369, 1997.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Powell D.H.: Profiles in cognitive aging. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1994.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cesa-Bianchi M., Vecchi T. (Eds.), Elementi di psicogeron-tologia. F. Angeli, Milano, 1998 (in Italian).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Betti S., Majorino G., Portaluppi G., Ravaccia F., Ursini I.: La sessualità in menopausa - Un’indagine presso un campione di donne non medicalizzate. In: Giommi R., Perrotta M. (Eds.), Le paure del sesso. L’impotenza, la menopausa, la violenza sessuale - Prevenzione e terapia. Del Cerro, Tirrenia, 1995 (in Italian).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cawood E.H., Bancroft J.: Steroid hormones, the menopause, sexuality and well being of women. Psychol. Med. 5: 925–936, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Derman R.J., Dawood M.Y., Stone S.: Quality of life during sequential hormone replacement therapy - a placebo-controlled-study. International Journal of Fertility and Menopausal Studies 40: 73–78, 1995.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Betti
    • 1
  • M. R. Orsini
    • 1
  • R. Sciaky
    • 1
  • C. Cristini
    • 1
  • G. Cesa-Bianchi
    • 1
  • G. F. Zandonini
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Psychology, Medical FacultyUniversity of MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of GynecologyHospital of MagentaMagentaItaly

Personalised recommendations