ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES ON MENOPAUSE AMONG PERIMENOPAUSAL WOMEN IN KIPKAREN, ELDORET TOWN, KENYA
Chebet, Daisy Ruto
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Perimenopause refers to the period of years preceding menopause. The declining levels of estrogen results in psychological and physiological changes that may cause distressing symptoms. This ultimately affects women quality of life. This, therefore, informed the need to assess the level of knowledge and practices on menopause among perimenopausal women in Kipkaren, Eldoret Town, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives; to determine the knowledge on menopause among perimenopausal women; to examine practices towards practices on menopause among perimenopausal women and to establish the relationship between knowledge and practices on menopause among perimenopausal women. This study adopted a cross-sectional survey research design. The study targeted perimenopausal women in Kipkaren. The total population for the study was 123 women. The sample size was 92 respondents. The study adopted the use of questionnaires as the main data collection instruments. The researcher consulted her supervisors and other experts and specialists in this area for expert validation. The study then used Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha of 0.70 to test for the reliability of the questionnaires. The study adopted a quantitative analysis in order to achieve the objectives of the study. The study results indicated that 77.7% of the perimenopausal women noted that menopause is the cessation of the menstruation; most of the women (56.9%) noted that menopause is caused by stoppage of hormones; psychological changes during menopause were mood changes, insomnia, and depression. Osteoporosis was the main symptom of physical changes during menopause. The main diet that should be taken during menopause was proteins and calcium. The study results revealed that 67.0% took proteins, supplementary calcium or other vitamins in their diet; 31.0% did weight-bearing exercises such as power walking and strength training in order to reduce the risk of osteoporosis; only 22.0% consulted their healthcare provider after every six month; 35.0% avoided fats and too many sugars in their diets; 47.0% maintained normal body weight; 69.0% took healthy diets; and 76.0% had social interaction with others; 11.0% had unhealthy practice (abuse drugs, smoking, and alcohol) and that 96.0% practiced a healthy lifestyle that is avoiding smoking, drug abuse and drinking alcohol. This study concluded that menopausal women have considerable knowledge regarding menopause. Most of the perimenopausal women understand the meaning of menopause, causes, symptoms, and ways of managing the condition. The study concluded that there is a significant relationship between the education level and understanding of menopause; educational status and knowledge on symptoms of menopause; educational status and knowledge of the healthy diet during menopause. There is a significant relationship between education level and physical exercises. There is a significant relationship between knowledge of menopause symptoms and physical exercise. The study recommended that public health care systems should mobilize resources and take measures to improve women’s awareness and knowledge about menopause-related changes through a variety of educational tools and media.