Objective: Menopause is an important life event that may have a negative influence on quality of life. Work ability, a concept widely used in occupational health, can predict both future impairment and duration of sickness absence. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of menopausal symptoms on work ability.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that used a sample of healthy working Dutch women aged 44 to 60 years. Work ability was measured using the Work Ability Index, and menopausal symptoms were measured using the Greene Climacteric Scale. Stepwise multiple linear regression models were used to examine the relationship between menopausal symptoms and work ability.
Results: A total of 208 women were included in this study. There was a significant negative correlation between total Greene Climacteric Scale score and Work Ability Index score. Total Greene Climacteric Scale score predicted 33.8% of the total variance in the Work Ability Index score. Only the psychological and somatic subscales of the Greene Climacteric Scale were significant predictors in multiple linear regression analysis. Together, they accounted for 36.5% of total variance in Work Ability Index score.
Conclusions: Menopausal symptoms are negatively associated with work ability and may increase the risk of sickness absence.
This cross-sectional study used the Work Ability Index and the Greene Climacteric Scale in a sample of healthy working Dutch women. The findings indicate that menopausal symptoms are negatively associated with work ability and may increase the risk of sickness absence.
From the 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nij Smellinge Hospital, Drachten, The Netherlands; 2Van Aalst Arbo Advies, Bakkeveen, The Netherlands; and 3The Netherlands School of Public & Occupational Health, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Received May 28, 2011; revised and accepted July 14, 2011.
Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.
Address correspondence to: Henk Oosterhof, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nij Smellinghe Hospital, Postbox 20200, 9200 DA Drachten, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org