Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Health Issues for Adult Women
Identifying the Knowledge Domains in Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women of African Descent
Ezra Charles Holston, PhD, MSN, RN, School of Nursing, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Learning Objective #1: identify the knowledge domains of menopause for perimenopausal and menopausal women of African descent.
Learning Objective #2: understand how the knowledge domains of menopause differ between perimenopausal and menopausal women of African descent.

Women’s knowledge about menopause can be used to treat menopausal symptoms. The knowledge can range from basic physiological changes to long-term effects of hormone replacement therapy. Culture may impact the type of knowledge domains accessed. However, in women of African descent, the specific knowledge domains have not been identified.  

The purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive study is to retrospectively identify the prevalent knowledge domains in perimenopausal and menopausal African-American women.

The conceptual framework includes the concepts of self-efficacy, health beliefs, and self-care from Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Framework.

Sample included 102 perimenopausal (mean age 45±4.6) and 104 menopausal (mean age 51±7.8) African-American women living in a Southern rural community.  Knowledge about menopause was measured with the Menopause Knowledge Questionnaire and Hormone Replacement Therapy Questionnaire. Menopause was defined as the cessation of menses over 12 consecutive months (Menopausal Health Scale). Descriptive statistics, Spearman Rho correlation analysis, Kruskal-Wallis Test, and factor analysis were used to analyze the data.

More perimenopausal women were employed fulltime (84%) and had completed high school (86%) than menopausal women (64% and 69%, respectively). Both groups were similar in marital status (46% and 52%) and annual income <$25,000 (68% and 70%), respectively. Knowledge domains for perimenopausal women were general symptoms (|ravg|=.72), vaginal discomfort (|ravg|=.76), and general complications (|ravg|=.76). For menopausal women, the domains were risk for physical changes (|ravg|=.82), major diseases (|ravg|=.84), physiology (|ravg|=.68), and treating physical discomfort (|ravg|=.80). Physical discomfort was prevalent in both groups (|ravg|=.79, |ravg|=.66), respectively. 

As women of African descent go through the menopausal process, their menopausal knowledge transitions from general to specific information. Accessing these knowledge domains may strengthen the effectiveness of practitioners across the globe to treat menopausal symptoms in women of African descent. Future analysis will establish a foundation for the identification and amelioration of knowledge domains and their possible deficits.