Psychological climacteric symptoms and attitudes toward menopause among Emirati women

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Menopause is an inevitable developmental event that women encounter at an age of 42–54 years. The drop of estrogen levels that accompanies cessation of menstruation is associated with multiple vasomotor, physical, neuropsychological, and sexual symptoms, which may hamper quality of life. This study aimed to examine the severity of psychological symptoms and their correlates among peri-and postmenopausal Emirati women (N = 60, mean age = 54.88 ± 6 years). Participants were interviewed using the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) and attitudes toward menopause scale (ATMS). In four path analysis models, vasomotor symptoms, weight gain, and fatigue had significant direct effects on symptoms of anxiety, depression (only weight gain and fatigue), and psychological distress. Fatigue significantly mediated the effects of vasomotor symptoms and weight gain on symptoms of anxiety, depression (only vasomotor symptoms), psychological distress, and memory problems. These models explained 47.6%, 44.5%, 56.6%, and 29.1% of the variances in anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and memory problems, respectively. Participants with more severe menopausal symptoms expressed more negative attitudes toward menopause though regression analysis revealed that only vasomotor symptoms could significantly contribute to ATMS scores. In conclusion, psychological distress is widespread among menopausal women, and it is associated with vasomotor symptoms, fatigue, and change of body composition (obesity). Psychological symptoms, along with vasomotor symptoms, express a key link to negative attitudes toward menopause. Therefore, interventional strategies that target psychological distress may promote coping with midlife transition and improve mental health among menopausal women.

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