Date of Graduation
Using a four step phenomenological approach for inquiry, the researcher explored and interpreted data obtained from the lived experiences of sixteen perimenopausal women and eight health care providers living in rural areas. A purposive sampling technique was utilized. Participation was on a voluntary basis. Data collection procedures included a face-to-face semi-structured taped interview and completion of a demographic questionnaire. Following analysis of the data, twenty-two common essences were identified from intuiting of the interview data. These essences were classified into six major themes which integrated all the realities of the participants. The findings of the study revealed six major themes which embodied the lived experiences of the phenomenon of perimenopause. The themes were: (1) The Menopause Legacy, (2) The Factual Void, (3) The Self-Care Straggler, (4) The Impassive Practitioner, (5) The Dichotomous Transition, and (6) Women Needing Women. The data revealed that perimenopause is surrounded by a legacy of fear, negativity, silence, and uncertainty leaving many women frustrated and confused. Women clearly need and demand information about perimenopause that is tangible and practical. Women have the capacity for self-care and health promoting activities, yet, often lack the necessary awareness and motivation needed to implement behavioral changes. Perimenopausal women perceive a lack of support and sensitivity from the health care provider. Health care providers perceive a lack of awareness and a commitment on the part of perimenopausal women to alter their health promoting behaviors. Both groups of participants conveyed the dichotomous view of perimenopause as both a normal transition and a treatable condition. Women need and want the caring presence of other women. Women seek out other women as an information source and as a support system. Education, awareness, sensitivity, and sharing highlight the common needs revealed in the lived experiences of perimenopausal women. Open dialogue between women and health care providers can empower women to take responsibility for each other and enable the sound of their common voices to be heard. This study revealed implications for education, practice, and research.
Kraft, Patricia Ann, "Perimenopause: A phenomenological study of women and health care providers in rural areas." (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9226.