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Carer knowledge and experiences with menopause in women with Intellectual Disabilities

Willis, Diane; Wishart, Jennifer G; Muir, Walter J


Jennifer G Wishart

Walter J Muir


Overall life expectancy for women with intellectual disabilities (ID) is now significantly extended, and many will live long enough to experience menopause. Little is known about how carers support women with ID through this important stage in their lives. This study investigated carer knowledge of how menopause affects women with ID under their care and how they may help them to cope with it. One-to-one interviews were undertaken with 69 carers (7 male/62 female) from a range of backgrounds, all with current responsibility for the care of one or more pre-, peri-, and/or postmenopausal women with ID. Carers reported difficulty in disentangling the psychological and physical consequences of the menopause from behaviors and symptoms arising from other causes. There was general recognition of the transitional importance of menopause and a widespread acknowledgment of the resilience that many women with ID show in coping with it. However, carers emphasized the need for health resources to be better tailored to the women's needs and for more relevant health education training for staff. The authors conclude that additional and new demands are placed on service provision as women with ID live longer. An increased awareness of health issues relating to menopause is needed, as are more appropriate and readily available relevant health education materials for women with ID in middle age.


Willis, D., Wishart, J. G., & Muir, W. J. (2010). Carer knowledge and experiences with menopause in women with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 7, 42-48.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 29, 2009
Online Publication Date Mar 3, 2010
Publication Date 2010-03
Deposit Date Dec 10, 2015
Print ISSN 1741-1122
Electronic ISSN 1741-1130
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Pages 42-48
Keywords carer knowledge; Down syndrome; health education;
intellectual disabilities; menopause;
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