Thesis Title

Menopausal transitional depression and HRT use in menopausal women

Date of Graduation

Spring 2010


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan S. Sims-Giddens


menopause, depression, menopause transitional depression, menopausal symptoms, hormone replacement therapy

Subject Categories



Biological models of midlife and menopausal depression have linked laterations in neurotransmitters, decline in ovarian hormones, menstrual cycle changes, and/or the menopause transition to depression. Even though menopausal transitional depression (MTD) can be associated with concomitant vasomotor symptoms and sleep disturbances, recent studies have shown that women with no history of depressive disorders have experienced a major depression while transitioning through the process of menopause. The purposes of this study were to examine the prevalence of menopausal transitional depression, identify the relationship of depressive symptoms with symptoms of menopause, and to explore women's attitudes concerning the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms. A descriptive survey design was used to obtain responses from 100 menopausal women from a small city in the Midwest. Measuring the effects that menopause has on the quality of life of women was achieved by the inclusion of survey questions from the Menopause Rating Scale (Heinemann et al. 2004) and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (Zung, 1965). Four questions addressing opinions regarding the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were also included. Numerous significant correlations between menopause and depression symptoms were found. There was a strong positive correlation between the total menopause symptoms scores and total depression scores. The rate of MTD was 7% of the respondents. In addition, respondents who would consider HRT had a higher than average total menopause symptom score. A slight majority of respondents believed HRT to be a health hazard although respondents who used HRT in the past generally believed it to have been safe.


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