Research Article| Volume 3, ISSUE 1, P55-63, March 1981

On the calculation of climacteric symptoms

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      Survey techniques, which are widely used to estimate the prevalence of climacteric symptoms, are generally unable to distinguish symptoms which relate to physiological changes from those which may be attributable to other factors. New data collection techniques developed in a study of menopause among a group of American Indians are reported here, which permit the evaluation of the cause of the reported symptoms. Two classes of complaints were then calculated: “gross” symptoms and “climacteric” symptoms. It was found that differences between prevalence, as estimated by the two classes of complaints, were smallest for vasomotor symptoms and greatest for psychological complaints, reflecting presumed physiological relationships. Further, climacteric-related symptoms demonstrated a clearer relationship to factors hypothesized by other researchers as affecting the experience of climacteric symptoms. While not feasible for all studies, these techniques demonstrate that more accurate estimates of symptom experience are possible.


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