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Women kept up appearances and developed multiple coping strategies to deal with menopause

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Question What are women's experiences of the menopausal transition and how do they interpret and respond to the changes they experience?


Grounded theory.




61 women who were experiencing menopausal transition (menstrual bleeding changes, hot flashes, and change in feelings and emotions). Age range was 41–54 years and most were white, middle class, college educated, and employed outside the home.


Women were interviewed by telephone (23–110 min each with most lasting 40–45 min) and asked to describe changes they were experiencing, how they felt about the changes, and ways in which the changes affected their lives. Changes could be related to bleeding, hot flashes, feelings and emotions, sleep, appearance, energy level, weight, appetite, digestion, sexual feelings, etc. Data were analysed, processes were identified, and a theory was developed.

Main findings

The basic core variable (social process) was described as …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr L A Kittell, 137 Laurel Run, Portage, PA 15946, USA. Email ajlak{at}