Coping style and climacteric symptoms in a clinical sample of postmenopausal women

J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1997 Sep;18(3):229-33. doi: 10.3109/01674829709080692.


Hormonal changes as well as sociocultural and personal factors account for climacteric symptoms. The aim of this study is to investigate in a clinical population the correlation between the severity of hot flashes and vaginal dryness and the 'coping-ineffectiveness of coping' construct. Out of 120 women consecutively referring to the University Menopause Clinic, 85 subjects were evaluated for their climacteric complaints including anxiety and depression and for their coping style assessed with the Italian version of the Utrechtse Coping Lijst. Daily hot flashes and severe vaginal dryness were reported by almost half of the studied population, regression analyses were performed in order to investigate how much of the variance in such symptoms was explained by the psychosocial variables and by the coping mechanisms. A more recent menopause, a lower educational level and an active coping predict a higher severity of hot flashes; a longer time since last menstrual period and a coping of avoidance predict a higher severity of vaginal dryness. The present study suggests that the severity of hot flashes and vaginal dryness among a clinical sample of postmenopausal women is not only determined by biological and social variables, but personal resources also explain part of the variance of such climacteric complaints.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Climacteric / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Middle Aged
  • Problem Solving
  • Regression Analysis
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vaginal Diseases / psychology*