The purpose of this research was to discover and describe the meaning of and attitudes toward menopause in midlife Chinese women in Taiwan. How these women learned about menopause was also explored.
Questionnaires were distributed to a convenience sample of 208 Chinese women aged 35 to 55 living in Taiwan; 168 responded. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis. Percentage and chi-square were used to examine the quantitative data.
The findings revealed that 154 (91.7%) women perceived menopause as a natural phenomenon. No statistically significant differences in attitude toward menopause were found between women grouped by different menopausal levels, by use or not use of hormones, or by religious preference. Some women described menopause as, “no longer young, getting old.” Others described menopause as, “wisdom and maturation,” “a symbol of achievement,” and “a time to start enjoying life.” Sixty-eight (40.5%) of the sample indicated they obtained menopausal information from friends and printed materials such as books, newspapers, and magazines.
Study findings indicate that Chinese women in Taiwan perceive menopause in a positive and holistic way. Culturally sensitized Western practitioners can utilize this study's findings to more appropriately individualize care for Chinese midlife women.
©1998The North American Menopause Society