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An arts-based educational exhibit on menopausal hot flashes

Carpenter, Janet S. PhD, RN, FAAN1; Kesling, Mark BS, MS2; Schmidt, Karen K. MSN, RN1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001365
Brief Report

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the development process, science, and symbolism of an arts-based educational exhibit designed to address myths, misinformation, negative imagery, and use of unproven treatments related to menopausal hot flashes.

Methods: The development process included iterative and informal feedback from a variety of individuals, a partnership with an experienced exhibit designer, and collaborations between artists and scientists.

Results: The resulting exhibit creates an environment where the public is immersed in accurate information about hot flashes. Although based on an iterative process, the resulting exhibit content reflects an estimated 500+ scientific studies, including those referenced in The North American Menopause Society position statements on hormone and nonhormone management of hot flashes. The seven main exhibit pieces convey scientific information and symbolize various aspects of women's experiences.

Conclusions: This innovative exhibit has high potential to be a disruptive innovation to address the preponderance of myths, misinformation, and negative imagery surrounding menopausal hot flashes and potentially decrease the use of unproven therapies.

1School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

2The daVinci Pursuit, Indianapolis, IN.

Address correspondence to: Dr. Janet S. Carpenter, PhD, RN, FAAN, Indiana University School of Nursing, 600 Barnhill Drive, Room NU338, Indianapolis, IN 46202. E-mail:

Received 2 January, 2019

Revised 5 March, 2019

Accepted 5 March, 2019

Funding/support: The work outlined in this paper was funded by (1) an Indiana University sabbatical award (no number) for development of the exhibit concept; (2) an Indiana University Extraordinary Opportunities Travel Grant (no number) to develop portions of the exhibit concept; and (3) a Pfizer Inc. Independent Grant for Learning and Change (36068923) to build the exhibit prototype and research public feedback.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: Dr. Carpenter is a consultant for Astellas Pharma.

Online date: June 3, 2019

© 2019 by The North American Menopause Society.