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Well-being during the menopausal transition and early postmenopause: a longitudinal analysis

Smith-DiJulio, Kathleen RN, PhD; Woods, Nancy Fugate RN, PhD, FAAN; Mitchell, Ellen Sullivan PhD

Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181728451
Articles
Abstract

Objective: To examine relationships between well-being and the menopausal transition (MT) to determine (1) whether women's well-being varies over the course of the MT and early postmenopause (PM) and (2) whether any observed variation is predicted by MT variables, other midlife transitions, or personal resources.

Design: Women from the Seattle Midlife Women's Health Study (N = 334) provided data for these analyses from at least one annual health questionnaire and a menstrual calendar. A subset of women provided a first morning voided urine specimen from 1997 through 2005. Urine samples were assayed for estrone glucuronide and follicle-stimulating hormone. Mixed-effects modeling using the R library was used to investigate whether MT-related factors, including MT stage, presence of hot flashes, hot flash severity and levels of estrone glucuronide and follicle-stimulating hormone, number of negative life events, or personal resources of mastery and satisfaction with social support are significant predictors of well-being.

Results: The model that best fit the data showed that mastery and satisfaction with social support predicted increases in well-being, whereas negative life events predicted decreases in well-being. None of the MT-related factors predicted change in well-being.

Conclusion: The variability in women's well-being in this study was more affected by life events other than the MT and early PM and by the personal resources available to meet transition demands. These findings suggest that for most women, the MT is not a predictor of level of well-being when considered in a broader life context.

In Brief

This study explores the relationships between well-being and the menopausal transition (MT). Variability in women's well-being was more effected by life events other than the MT and early postmenopause and by the personal resources available to meet transition demands suggesting that for most women the MT is not a predictor of level of well-being when considered in a broader life context.

Author Information

From the Department of Family and Child Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Received October 16, 2007; revised and accepted March 4, 2008.

Funding/support: This work was supported by National Institute of Nursing Research NINR R01NR004141 and NINR P30NR04001 and by the Hester McLaws Nursing Scholarship Fund.

Financial disclosure: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Kathleen Smith-DiJulio, RN, PhD, Department of Family and Child Nursing, University of Washington School of Nursing, 1625 East McGraw Street, Seattle, WA 98112-2135. E-mail: smithdijulio@comcast.net

©2008The North American Menopause Society