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This study aims to answer the following questions: (i) what is the attitude of women in the climacteric years towards menopause, (ii) what is the association between attitude towards menopause and well-being and (iii) to what extent is medical attention determined by both well-being and attitude towards menopause. All 2729 women aged 45–60 years living in a suburb of Rotterdam were sent a questionnaire, of these 1947 (71.3%) were returned. Attitude was measured on a 5-point rating scale using 28 items that have been used in other studies. Well-being was measured by the Inventory of Subjective Health and three subscales of the Sickness Impact Profile. Medical attention was measured by asking the women whether they were currently being treated by a general practitioner or specialist. Results show that three clusters of attitudes towards menopause exist: two clusters encompass items reflecting attitudes towards disadvantages and advantages of the menopause, one cluster encompasses items reflecting attitudes towards (medical) treatment of the menopause. On the whole, women answer neutrally to items relating menopause with the disadvantages and tend to agree with items relating menopause with the advantages. The women slightly agree, premenopausal women more than others, with items that are in favour of treatment of menopausal complaints. Agreement with items on the disadvantage cluster is moderately associated with a low level of well-being, whereas agreement with items on the advantage cluster is slightly associated with a high level of well-being; the treatment cluster is not associated with well-being. Both well-being and agreement with items on the treatment cluster are statistically significantly associated with medical attention. Apart from these variables, the woman's ideas about treatment are also related to medical attention.
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Accepted: December 23, 1992
Received in revised form: December 21, 1992
Received: October 19, 1992
© 1993 Published by Elsevier Inc.