Perimenopausal knowledge of mid-life women in northern Taiwan

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Abstract

Background

This work has been carried out keeping in view that although knowledge related to perimenopause is an important health issue for women worldwide, little information is known about mid-life Taiwanese women's knowledge of perimenopause.

Objective

The aim of this paper was to explore the level of perimenopausal knowledge of mid-life women in northern Taiwan, to describe the relationship between demographic factors and women's knowledge, and to identify what information health providers need to offer them.

Design

A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted.

Method

The Perimenopausal Knowledge Questionnaire was used to collect data. The study was carried out in August 2000 to September 2001. A convenience sample was recruited from traditional Chinese medicine clinics, gynecology clinics and communities in northern Taipei.

Results

Our findings indicated that the overall mean correct answer weighted Perimenopausal Knowledge score of these mid-life women was 46.31. The rank of weighted scores from highest to lowest was: (1) self-care during perimenopause, (2) the perception of perimenopause, (3) knowledge related to hormone replacement therapy and (4) body changes associated with the declined oestrogen in perimenopause. Only educational level was significantly associated with Perimenopause Knowledge level (P < 0.01). Less than 20% (n = 353) of the women answered the items that measured self-management of symptoms related to perimenopause correctly. Less than 1.4% of the women knew that taking hormone replacement therapy required a physician's prescription and subsequent regular health check-ups.

Conclusion

Participants lacked adequate knowledge about perimenopause.

Relevance to clinical practices

Health providers need to provide factual information about the normal body changes of perimenopause, self-management of perimenopausal disturbances and appropriate use of hormone replacement therapy.

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