Early Menopause

Overview

The Early Menopause: Experiences and Perspectives of Women and Health Professionals project explores the experiences of women diagnosed with early menopause (before age 45), and the perspectives of health professionals who care for women with this condition.

Early menopause can affect women's physical health and wellbeing, as well as their relationships, emotional wellbeing, and their sense of self-identity. However, research has unveiled significant gaps in women’s and health professionals’ understanding of early menopause, leading to poorer health outcomes. In this project, we give voice to women’s narratives and include health professionals in a broader conversation on how to better support women with early menopause.

In partnership with key consumer groups, multidisciplinary health professionals, hospitals, professional societies, and government organisations, this project aims to address these knowledge gaps and thereby improve health care for women with early menopause. It responds to women’s and health professionals’ preferences for education, patient empowerment and care integration, including the need for evidence-based early menopause resources available online.

We will develop a two-part Healthtalk Australia online resource drawing on video and audio recorded narrative interviews with women and health professionals (from a range of specialities) to highlight experiences of early menopause, and perspectives on caring for women with early menopause.

The online resource, expected to be launched in early 2019, will target women experiencing early menopause and their families, health professionals, health educators, health service providers and policymakers. It will feature women’s stories and health professionals’ perspectives in film and audio, downloadable fact sheets and Question Prompt Lists (to aid women in discussions with their doctors), links to evidence-based information about early menopause and related issues, and a management algorithm for health professionals.

By facilitating more informed interactions between women with early menopause and their treating health professionals, this interdisciplinary research project will help support and improve the healthcare of women diagnosed with early menopause.

Healthtalk Australia online resource

Anticipated completion early 2019

Funding body

National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership Project (APP1116008, 2016 – 2019) in partnership with:

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Monash Health

Breast Cancer Network Australia

Healthdirect Australia

Australasian Menopause Society

Women’s Health Victoria

Endocrine Society of Australia

Investigators

Chief Investigators

Professor Helena Teede
Lead Investigator, Director, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; Executive Director, Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre, Monash University.

Professor Renata Kokanovic
Lead Investigator of Qualitative Study and Online Resource Component, Professor of Sociology of Health and Illness, Director, Health, Society & Medicine (HSM) Research Hub, Centre for Applied Social Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University; Adjunct Professor, School of Social Sciences, Arts, Monash University.

Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor Amanda Vincent
Co-Investigator, Research Fellow MCHRI, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University; Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology, Monash Health.

Professor Roger Hart
Co-Investigator, Professor of Reproductive Medicine, School of Women’s and Infants’ Health, University of Western Australia.

Dr Jacqueline Boyle
Co-Investigator, Senior Research Fellow, MCHRI, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University.

Professor Martha Hickey
Co-Investigator, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital.

Associate Investigators

Associate Professor Arul Earnest
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Ms Jane Fox
Head of Breast Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Dr Samantha Kozica-Olenski
MCHRI, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Dr Marie Misso
Research Fellow, MCHRI, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Research Staff

Dr Kate Johnston-Ataata
Research Fellow, HSM Research Program, Centre for Applied Social Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University

Dr Jacinthe Flore
Research Associate, HSM Research Program, Centre for Applied Social Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University

Dr Kim Huynh
Research Program Manager, MCHRI, Monash University

Reference Group

The Reference Group is co-chaired Professor Renata Kokanovic (Research Chair) and Ms Jane Fox (Clinical Chair). Members include Melbourne-based members of the Steering Committee (Professor Helena Teede, Professor Renata Kokanovic, Adj Clin Associate Professor Amanda Vincent, Dr Jacqui Boyle, Professor Martha Hickey) and the following external members:

Dr Jenny Anderson
Research and Evaluation Manager, Breast Cancer Network Australia

Ms Rita Butera
Executive Director, Women’s Health Victoria

Ms Andrea Cannon
Breast Care Nurse, Think Pink

Ms Kirsty Costa
Consumer Representative

Ms Jane Fox
Head of Breast Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Ms Louise Galloway
Manager, Screening and Cancer Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services

Ms Desi Heliotis
Breast Cancer Network Australia Consumer Representative

Dr Samantha Hutchison
Endocrinologist

Associate Professor Mia Lindgren
Head of School, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Ms Janet Michelmore AO
Executive Director, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health

Dr Galina Schevzov
Research Investment Manager, National Breast Cancer Foundation

Dr Eva Segelov
Oncologist, Monash Health

Ms Danielle Spence
Director, Policy and Advocacy, Breast Cancer Network Australia

Dr Mala Thondan
General Practitioner, Harp Family Medical

Professor Beverley Vollenhoven
Head of Gynaecology, Monash Health

Ms Kristen Yates
Psychologist, Monash Health

Ms Dianne Zalitis
Clinical Lead, Pregnancy Birth and Baby, Healthdirect Australia