Graduation Year

2015

Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

This study describes some of the major physical and emotional occupational needs of menopausal women, and the direct impact this has on their relationships and overall well-being. The primary objective of this research project was to describe the life experiences of menopausal women and how various stressors affected their emotional, physical, and relational occupations. A descriptive grounded theory method was used to explore the stressors, their meanings, and the women’s unique perspectives of their menopausal experiences. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and then coded and analyzed into key categories. From this information, specific themes were formulated, resulting in an emergent grounded theory. The four themes that emerged from the data were the: physical manifestations of menopause; emotional manifestations of menopause; external contributing factors; and strategies to cope with menopausal challenges. These major themes provided a more in-depth understanding of menopausal women’s perspectives, their meanings, and key occupations.

A secondary objective of this study was to disseminate information through eventual publications and presentations to encourage occupational therapists to design and implement intervention strategies to address some of the key occupational struggles associated with menopause. The occupational needs of menopausal women need to be studied further to potentially develop effective intervention strategies for assisting them in dealing with the challenges and changes associated with menopause. The field of occupational therapy is perfectly positioned to be a leader in promoting healthy occupations and lifestyles for these women. This can be accomplished through providing relevant preventative and community-based programming.

Faculty Mentor

Amy Marshall, PhD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Doris Pierce, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Gwen Cassel, MOT, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Comments

I would like first like to thank the entire occupational therapy doctoral program faculty for providing me with an excellent education. I would also like to more specifically thank Amy Marshall, PhD, OTR/L, my project faculty mentor, for assisting me through providing insight, guidance, and unending patience in completion of this study. Other faculty members who were very instrumental in assisting with the completion of this document were my Capstone Committee consisting of Doris Pierce, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA and Gwen Cassel, MOT, OTR/L.

I would like to thank my husband, the love of my life and my rock. I must not forget the unending support I received from my family and friends. Their love and encouraging words sustained me through the exciting and challenging times. I also want to thank my mom for the love, stability, and unending support she provided me during her lifetime. I would also like to acknowledge my father, who has graciously extended to me wisdom, courage, and strength beyond belief. It is he who has provided me with the drive to persist through this life through providing me with unconditional love, graciousness, and a self-less spirit of compassion. First and foremost I couldn’t have completed this task without the Lord and his ever- present love, guidance and support.

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)

15-261

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