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폐경에 대한 적응 과정
Adaptation Process to Menopause

이미라    (중앙대학교 의과대학 간호학과  );
  • 초록

    Although the average menopausal age has not changed, women's life span has increased. Today's women live longer after their menopause than those in the past, and this calls for attention in both nursing and medical fields. Many studies have revealed how women reacted to menopause and suffered from it. But they did not discriminate the menopausal meaning and effects from the climacteric phenomena. So, this author tried to clarify what menopause itself meant to the climacteric women, by means of grounded theory methodology. The interviewees were 21 women, whose ages were between 46 and 60 years. They were selected by theoretical sampling technique, and the author tried to include all levels of important variables such as age, educational background, religion and job. Data were collected by the author through in -depth interviews and observations in July, 1994. The interviews were mostly done in the homes of the subjects, or in some cases at the author's office or in a hospital. Interviews took from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed later by a research assistant. Data were analyzed as gathered, by the constant comparative method proposed by Strauss and Corbin. Eleven concepts were discovered from the data, and they were grouped under six higher order categories. These six categories were "to give menopause a meaning", "to experience value change", "to have self-help strategies", "to have no strategies", "to live a life worth living", "to have a sense of powerlessness" Among these "to experionce value change" was . selected as the core category. Five major categories were systematically integrated around the core category. Women's adaptation to menopause was defined as proceeding as follows : Most women felt relief and sorrow at the same time when they faced menopause, and some only sorrow or agony. Then, they consulted with others about menopausal symptoms, or tried to think of them by themselves. Finally, they gave menopause a meaning, which was that menopause and its symptoms were natural phenomena. But menopause made women reflect on them-selves and their past lives. As they reflected on themselves, their value on life began to change. As their value changed, some women seeked self help strategies. Those self help strategies were what they had learned from collegues, professionals or mass media. The quality of their lives depended on whether they practiced self help strategies or not. Three types of lives were found. Twelve women enjoyed a life worth living, and practiced the self help strategies, because they accepted menopause a chance to change. They were characterized by a high educational level, having a professional job and a sincere faith in God. Seven women were living as usual, because they did not have the necessity to change. They were high school graduates and house wives. Two women recognized menopause a chance to change, but they did not try self help strategies. Their characteristic was low educational level. Those who did not try self help strategies complained of powerlessness to varying degrees. The educational background, full-time jobs and faith helped women adapt to menopause positively. But social support was not helpful to women's adaptation to menepause. Three hypotheses were derived from the analysis. (1) The higher the educational level, the more theneed to change. (2) Women with higher educational background will practice self help strategies more than those with lower edcational background. (3) The more women practice self help strategies, the worthier lives they will live. Suggestions for further studies are as follows. (1) Studies to test hypotheses are needed. (2) A study to find the relationship between the degree of practicing self help strategies and locus of control. (3) Spiritual approaches would better be applied to help menopausal women. (4) Education through mass media should be given mere frequently.


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    폐경 .   적응과정.  

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