University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) > How health beliefs influence the symptom experience and treatment decisions at menopause

How health beliefs influence the symptom experience and treatment decisions at menopause

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Note Seminar moved to Wednesday 12th March

The menopause is a universal experience for women assuming that they reach their mid-50s. However, compared with other less prevalent aspects of the human female reproductive cycle, such as pregnancy and childbirth, we know little about how women approach this important phase of their lives. I will focus on the social constructions that women in the UK have about menopause and discuss how these beliefs influence their experience of symptoms and decisions about whether to seek treatment. My research shows that menopause can be thought of as synonymous with aging and invisibility, as an illness that changes women, as a condition that can be treated and as a temporary phase after which there is recovery. These beliefs are contradictory but can be held simultaneously by women and have a direct influence on the experience. Moreover, believing that menopause is an illness that is amenable to treatment is a mediator that increases the propensity to seek biomedical treatments whereas believing that there will be a positive recovery after menopause is a mediator of the use of non-biomedical treatments.

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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