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Title: Menopausal symptom experience at midlife among Bangladeshi immigrants, Sedentees, and European neighnours : a cross-cultural study
Author: Sharmeen, T.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Menopause is widely accepted as a complex individual bio-psycho-socio-cultural process which varies within and between cultures and which changes over time. Most studies on menopausal symptoms and symptom experiences during midlife have been conducted on Western populations. There have been very few studies on menopausal women or menopausal symptom experiences in South Asia and none, to my knowledge, have been attempted in Bangladesh. Moreover, little is known about the menopausal and midlife symptoms, experience of menopause and perception towards menopause among Bangladeshi women and Migrant Bangladeshi women now living in Western countries. Hence, a cross-sectional study was initiated with an exploratory study design to compare frequency of symptom reporting among: 1) Bangladeshi women who migrated to the UK; 2) Sedentees still living in Bangladesh, and 3) a group of UK women of European origin. Data on socio-demographics, socio-economics, migration history, symptom experiences, reproductive history, physical activities and anthropometry were also collected. Qualitative data on Bangladeshi women’s perceptions, beliefs and attitudes regarding menopause and menopausal symptom experiences were explored. The primary hypothesis tested in this study was: Sylheti women who migrated to London will have a higher frequency of symptoms associated with midlife and the menopausal transition compared to Bangladeshi Sedentees due to lack of English skill, extended family support, socio-economic stress and social isolation. This hypothesis led to the prediction is that Sylheti Migrants will have a higher frequency of symptoms associated with midlife and menopause and will report a higher frequency of somatic, emotional, vasomotor and sexual symptoms compared to Bangladeshi Sedentees. The prediction was upheld for somatic and emotional symptoms but not for vasomotor and sexual symptoms. Bangladeshi Migrants therefore reported higher frequencies of somatic and emotional symptoms compared to the Sedentees. Moreover, both Migrants and Sedentees reported significantly higher somatic and psychosomatic symptoms compared to the Europeans. However, symptoms that are attributed directly to menopause (vasomotor and sexual symptoms) showed no significant differences between the two Bangladeshi groups. Long-term illnesses such as cardio vascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis rather than menopausal status per se are significant factors explaining an increase in somatic and psychosomatic complaints associated with midlife. Perceptions and attitudes associated with menopausal symptom experience were mostly positive among Bangladeshi women and menopause was perceived as a neutral phase. Qualitative findings indicate that the meanings of menopause in Bangladesh are dependent on the social and cultural environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available