Improvement of menopausal symptoms and the impact on work ability: A retrospective cohort pilot study

Marije Geukes, Johannes R. Anema, Mariëlle P. van Aalst, Renee X. de Menezes, Henk Oosterhof

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Objective: In this study we aimed to pilot test the hypothesis that in women who are severely bothered by their menopausal complaints, improvement of menopausal symptoms is associated with an improvement in self-perceived work ability. Study design: This retrospective cohort study assessed the work ability of first-time attendees (n = 31) of a menopause clinic at baseline (T0) and 3–9 months follow-up (T1). All patients received care as usual according to local protocol, no interventions were applied by the researchers. Self-reported questionnaire data assessing work ability (Work Ability Index; WAI) and menopausal symptoms (Greene Climacteric Scale; GCS) were used. Main outcome measures: Multiple linear regression was used in an exploratory analysis to examine the relationship between change in WAI score (ΔWAI) and change in menopausal symptoms (ΔGCS), after adjustment for potential confounders. Additional exploratory univariate linear regression analyses were performed to assess the associations of change in WAI score with change in the different GCS domains and with type of treatment. Results: Twenty-seven out of 31 women reported improvement in work ability at follow-up (T1) (M = 30.73, SD = 6.42 respectively, M = 34.86, SD = 5.98). All women reported to be less bothered by their menopausal symptoms at T1 (M = 26.57, SD = 8.69 respectively, M = 14.73, SD = 6.36). Multivariate linear regression demonstrated a significant association between the WAI and GCS change scores after correction for confounders (beta ΔGCS = 0.283, p = 0.014). After additional adjustment for WAI at baseline, this association was no longer significant (beta ΔGCS = 0.172, p = 0.164). Change in GCS depression domain (ΔGCS depression) was significantly associated with ΔWAI, although after correction for WAI at baseline the effect of ΔGCS depression was no longer significant (beta = 0.855, p = 0.113). The WAI and GCS change scores were highly correlated, as a result their coefficients were not statistically significant separately. Conclusions: Treatment aimed at alleviating menopausal symptoms in symptomatic women could lead to improvement of menopausal symptoms along with improvement in work ability. Improvement of depressive symptoms seem particularly important for this outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Greene climacteric scale
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Menopause
  • Work
  • Work ability
  • Work ability index

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