Objective: To examine the impact of participation in a psycho-educational program on women's attitudes toward menopause, the perceived severity of their symptoms, and the association between the two.
Design: Quasi-experimental. Data were gathered at baseline and 3 months after termination of the program.
Setting: Two health maintenance organization clinics.
Participants: Eighty-two healthy 40- to 60-year-old women who chose to participate in the study. Thirty-six women participated in the program, and 46 women comprised the control group.
Intervention: Program participants met for 10 weekly sessions to receive information from a professional team on subjects related to menopause and to share and discuss their experiences.
Main outcome measures: Attitudes toward menopause and severity of menopause symptoms.
Results: The more negative the attitudes, the higher was the severity of symptoms. Participants reported significant improvements in attitudes and reductions in symptom severity compared to their own baseline scores and compared with the control group.
Conclusions: Participation in a program that combines delivery of information and processing of experiences on the cognitive, emotional, and social levels may improve women's attitudes toward menopause and ease the perceived severity of their symptoms, thereby increasing quality of life.