Objective: To compare the frequency, severity, and interference of menopause-related hot flashes and their psychosocial correlates in Taiwanese and U.S. women. Study design: Cross-sectional study, using a convenience sample of 101 Taiwanese and 121 U.S. midlife women. Main outcome measures: Hot-flash measures, including frequency, severity (Women's Health Initiative Symptom Scale), hot flash related daily interference; and psychosocial measures: Attitudes toward Menopause and Aging Scale, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Sense of Coherence Questionnaire, Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and State-Trait Anger Scale. Results: Using ANCOVA with demographic variables as covariates, U.S. women reported greater frequency and daily interference from hot flashes compared with Taiwanese women. Greater depression, greater catastrophizing about hot flashes, lower sense of coherence, lower state/trait anger, and more positive attitudes toward aging were reported in the U.S. cohort. The groups were similar in their frequency of specific coping strategies, and they did not differ significantly in menopause symptom severity, attitudes towards menopause, state/trait anxiety, or overall negative psychosocial characteristics. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that hot-flash related daily interference was predicted by marital status, frequency of hot flashes, and negative psychosocial characteristics among the U.S. women; and by frequency of hot flashes and negative psychosocial characteristics among the Taiwanese women. Conclusions: Despite differences in the frequency and daily interference from hot flashes in the two samples, the predictors of interference were similar. Results highlight the importance of considering both psychosocial factors and cultural differences in providing guidance and treatment for women experiencing menopause-related hot flashes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC 94-2314-B-037-072 ).
- Hot flashes
- Psychosocial influences
- Transcultural study