Changing bodies: symptoms, body image, health and wellbeing over the menopausal transition

Pearce, Gemma (2013). Changing bodies: symptoms, body image, health and wellbeing over the menopausal transition. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Aim: To undertake exploratory work examining the relationship between menopausal symptoms, body image, exercise and wellbeing.

Method: A mixed methods approach was used, including a systematic scoping review, the development of a synchronous text-based online interviewing tool; a qualitative Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis study, and mixed methods study.

Results: The review showed that women’s experiences of the menopause and body image can be both positive and negative simultaneously, which has implications for the way these concepts are quantitatively measured. A synchronous online interviewing tool is an additional method to be added to the researchers’ tool kit, especially if the topic is sensitive and an extra level of anonymity is needed. The IPA study focused on experiences of body image concerns and identified a range of ways menopausal women cope with such changes. Through Structural Equation Modelling and interviews, we identified that menopausal symptoms may act as a barrier to exercise participation by decreasing a woman’s subjective vitality, and reducing perceptions of attractiveness, life satisfaction and self-esteem.

Conclusion: Health psychology of the menopausal transition is in its infancy. It is not only important to consider methods to reduce symptoms, but also the impact symptoms have on health behaviour, body image and wellbeing.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Duda 1955-, Joan L. (Joan Lynne)UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine


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