Author

Dana Essner

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Lynx McClellan

Subject(s)

Menopause, Medicine, Preventive, Health promotion, Health behavior

Abstract

Introduction: The symptoms of menopause affect 2 million women per year. Patient education and health promotion are key components of the primary care well visit. Lifestyle medicine focuses on behavioral changes to improve health and quality of life. One can use lifestyle medicine to promote wellness in menopausal women, thus improving their mental and physical health. Current data suggests that behavioral counseling enhances the patient education experience. A series of behavioral changes in diet, exercise, and mindfulness can be used. Social media is an effective tool to engage the population at large, while small group or individual counseling works on a more personal level. One of the roles of the DNP is to ensure that interventions reach the population at large. This project gives nurse practitioners a unique means for interacting with menopausal women. A lifestyle approach to addressing the health issues of menopausal women can be as global or as individual as one desires. The use of social media is an innovative approach to menopause management. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to implement a web-based lifestyle management intervention to improve quality of life (QOL) in menopausal women. The objectives were: to create an interactive web-based model for health promotion for menopausal women; to assess QOL and health habits of selected menopausal women in a private Facebook® group; to evaluate the effectiveness of a lifestyle medicine intervention on QOL and health habits of the women participating in the project. Method: A health promotion initiative was undertaken with a pre-intervention/post-intervention design. A sample of 54 women (n = 54) was used. This health promotion initiative was designed as a web-based support group and took place virtually in a private Facebook® group. Intervention: A lifestyle medicine educational intervention was offered to peri- and post-menopausal women who volunteered to participate in the program. The intervention included dietary, exercise and mindfulness guidelines, using a private Facebook® group as the vehicle for communication. Women were surveyed before and after the intervention with two surveys, a Healthy Lifestyle Survey (HLS) which identified women’s perception of their overall habits of health and the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS), a QOL tool. Results: A web-based lifestyle management intervention may improve QOL and health habits in menopausal women. Statistically significant improvements in sleep patterns (p=.009) and exercise patterns (p=.02) were noted. Overall perceptions of improved health and mindfulness were also noted, although these findings were not statistically significant.

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