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The experiences and needs of Asian women experiencing menopausal symptoms

a meta-synthesis

Shorey, Shefaly, PhD, RN, RM; Ng, Esperanza D., BA

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001269
Review Article
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Objective: The aim of the study was to explore the experiences and needs of Asian women who were experiencing or had experienced menopause and to determine possible differences in experiences due to acculturation by comparing Asian women living in Asia and those living in Western countries.

Methods: Six electronic databases were systematically searched: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, PsycINFO, and ProQuest. The search resulted in 17 qualitative studies that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Quality appraisal was conducted using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Checklist. All 17 studies were analyzed using meta-summaries and, then, using meta-synthesis.

Results: Five themes were identified from the 17 included studies (United States, n = 5; Asia, n = 12): (1) perceptions and attitudes toward menopause (n = 14), (2) physical and emotional experiences during menopause (n = 16), (3) changes in life and relationships (n = 11), (4) needs and coping strategies (n = 13), and (5) unique Asian experiences in Western societies (n = 5). Asian women generally had neutral or positive attitudes toward menopause, but their negative physical, emotional, and psychosocial experiences highlighted their unmet needs and unpreparedness for this phase of life. Diverse self-management strategies were adopted, but there was a high demand for more trustworthy informational resources. Asian women in Western societies were not highly acculturated and retained traditional practices.

Conclusions: Although cultural influences serve as a protective factor against menopausal symptoms, the traditional and conservative nature of the Asian society poses as a help-seeking barrier. Therefore, to ensure the healthy well-being of postmenopausal women, the implementation of culturally appropriate mitigation and management strategies is necessary.

Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Address correspondence to: Shefaly Shorey, PhD, RN, RM, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2, Clinical Research Centre, Block MD11, 10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Singapore. E-mail: nurssh@nus.edu.sg

Received 23 August, 2018

Revised 09 October, 2018

Accepted 09 October, 2018

Funding/support: None.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (www.menopause.org).

© 2019 by The North American Menopause Society.