Women's health: Working women and the menopause
Published 20 January 2016
A project, funded by the charity Wellbeing of Women, is being conducted across King's Heath Partners to improve the experience of menopause for women at work.
In Britain, nearly three quarters of women seek advice about menopausal symptoms and up to a quarter of women experience hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disruption and fatigue. Although most women don’t have problems, some find that menopausal symptoms have an adverse effect on both their personal and working lives.
Women’s health researchers from King’s College London and the University of Nottingham are inviting women to take part in a study that aims to help women to manage menopausal symptoms at work. The project is led by two menopause experts, Professor Myra Hunter, King's College London, and Professor Amanda Griffiths, University of Nottingham. The treatment is a self-help booklet based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that was developed at King’s College London by Professor Hunter and colleagues. CBT has been found to be effective in reducing the impact of menopausal symptoms and in this study the researchers have tailored the treatment specifically for working women.
A recent survey by Professor Griffiths, identified that the menopause can be particularly problematic for working women and several organisational-level support mechanisms are needed to help women during this time, including improving the access to information and sources of support about the menopause at work.
Professor Griffiths said:
Up to now it’s been a problem largely overlooked by employers and covered up by many women who find it embarrassing and a taboo subject. Some have encountered criticism and ridicule about menopause from managers and colleagues. The menopause affects half the population but historically the problems it can cause for some women have not been recognised or acknowledged in the workplace. Women who participated in this research told me how pleased they were that this subject was ‘at last’ receiving serious attention.
King's Heath Partners recognises the impact that menopause can have on staff and are supporting this project as part of our drive to help improve staff health and wellbeing and facilitate delivery of safer and higher quality care.
Women who work in King’s Health Partners are invited to take part in this study of a non-medical treatment to manage menopausal symptoms at work. The treatment is a self-help booklet based on cognitive behavioural therapy that you can work through in your own time over four consecutive weeks. The research will compare a group of women who receive this booklet immediately and a group of women who receive the treatment a little later. You will be asked to complete short questionnaires at three time points and if you receive the treatment immediately you will also be invited to give some feedback in a short telephone interview (or face-to-face if telephone not possible) at a convenient time. Your participation is confidential and your employer will not be informed you are participating.
There is also a prize draw of a £50 Amazon or similar shopping voucher for one woman who completes all three questionnaires.
If you have a good understanding of English, are aged between 45-60 years of age, and experiencing problematic hot flushes and/or night sweats (10 or more per week) for the last two months you are invited to take part. If you are interested or would like more information please contact Dr Claire Hardy on 020 7188 9558/07340115639 or firstname.lastname@example.org