Menopausal experiences of women of Chinese ethnicity: A meta-ethnography

Md Ruhul Kabir*, Kara Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: Menopause and the changes it brings to a woman’s life necessitate a comprehensive approach to face and experience the transition. This paper aims at synthesizing results from qualitative studies of menopausal experiences among Chinese and other women of similar ethnicity and culture.

Design and method: A comprehensive search strategy of multiple databases along with bibliographic hand searches was employed to identify qualitative studies published in English peer-reviewed journals between 2008 and 2022 focused on the menopausal experiences (peri and post-menopause) of Chinese and other women of similar ethnic backgrounds. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. The final sample consisted of 238 women aged between 40 to 60 years who had experienced menopausal symptoms. This qualitative systematic literature review adopted Noblit and Hare’s seven-stage theoretical meta-ethnographic approach to construct an inductive and interpretive form of synthesis and subsequent analysis.

Syntheses of findings: The synthesis of primary data identified four key concepts that entitle women’s menopausal experiences: being menopausal, ramifications on well-being, family and social support around menopause, and healthcare throughout menopause. The subsequent second-order interpretation revealed that women accepted the inevitability of the natural aging process in the decline of sexual drive, reinvented relationships with partners, and expressed the significance of a supportive environment in order to successfully navigate the transition. Third-order interpretations sought to establish a link between physiological complications, loss of femininity, patriarchal-dominated societal norms, and a support system that spans the entire menopause experience. Healthcare’s contribution has also been deemed to be insufficient due to a lack of information and empathy from health experts. Negligence or reluctance to seek healthcare and skepticism toward hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had also been a source of concern, as they have had the potential to exacerbate medical difficulties and emotional turmoil.

Conclusions and implications for practice: A comprehensive approach that considers women’s physiological and psychological well-being and major attempts to change cultural beliefs and norms about women’s sexual health may be effective in aiding menopausal women during their transition. Additionally, appropriate guidelines and management should be in place to enable women to address menopause difficulties effectively with the assistance of healthcare experts and the support of their families and community.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0289322
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health(social science)

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