A Study on the Health Information Needs of Women in the Age of Menopause | BMC Women’s Health

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Demographic characteristics

A total of 301 women aged 48 to 55 completed the questionnaire. The mean age of the participants was 51.5 ± 2.53 years. Just over half of the women were aged 48 to 51 (m= 152, 50.5%). Most of the participants were married (m= 226, 75%) and had no university degree (m= 176, 58.5%. Table 1 presents the demographic characteristics of the participants.

Table 1 Demographic characteristics of the women studied

Levels of knowledge, interest and needs

More than half of the participants rated their level of knowledge about menopause as “enough” (m= 155, 51.5%. More than a third of the participants were “somewhat” interested in obtaining information (m= 123, 41%). Less than half of those surveyed said they ‘rarely’ need to research information about menopause (m= 136, 45%) (see Table 2). The results of the chi-square test show statistically significant relationships between age group and level of knowledge and between level of education and levels of knowledge and interest (p

Table 2 Frequency of responses on the level of knowledge, interest in obtaining and the need to seek information on menopause

Information needs

Table 3 presents 42 pieces of information that women may need to know about menopause. The most frequently needed information was that related to breast cancer (m= 209, 69.5%), hot flashes (m= 200, 66.5%), cervical cancer (m= 194, 64.5%, non-hormonal therapies for menopausal symptoms (m= 192, 64%), laboratory tests (m= 189, 63%) and joint and muscle pain (m= 188, 62.5%. The least frequently needed information was related to consultations to reduce or quit smoking (m= 76.25%), infertility (m= 84, 28%), male sexual problems (m= 89, 29.5%), women’s sexual problems (m= 115.38%), hair and nail problems (m= 130, 43%) and consultations on the exercise (m= 130.43%).

Table 3 Frequency of “yes” responses to items of information that women may need to know about menopause

The average number of selected data items in all categories (except consultations) was higher in the 52-55 age group than in the 48-51 age group (pp

Table 4 The negative binomial regression model for comparing the differences between the average numbers of pieces of information needed

Sources of information

Table 5 shows that 15 sources were used to obtain information. The most frequently used sources were the audiovisual media (m= 171, 57%), obstetricians (m= 165, 55%), friends (m= 157, 52%), family (m= 157, 52%) and the Internet (m= 153.51%). The least frequently used sources were religious groups (m= 22, 7.5%), workshops (m= 28.9%), pharmacists (m= 29, 9.5%), nurses (m= 49, 16.5%) and educational videos (m= 60.20%).

Table 5 Frequency of Sources Used to Acquire Information About Menopause

There were statistically significant relationships between age group and use of written sources, audiovisual media, telephone consultations, family, friends, obstetricians, midwives, pharmacists, nurses and specialists in traditional medicine or herbalists (pp

Difficulty finding information

Table 6 shows seven challenges women face when seeking information about menopause. The most common challenges faced by participants were not knowing how to properly access information (m= 115, 38%) and not being aware of reliable sources of information (m= 108, 36%). The least common problems were symptoms of menopause (m= 67, 22.5%) and limited access to information (m= 82, 27%).

Table 6 Frequency of difficulty finding information about menopause

A statistically significant relationship was found between age group and the following two challenges: contradictions between different sources and limited access to information (pp

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