'I'll worry about that when it comes along': osteoporosis, a meaningful issue for women at mid-life?

K Backett-Milburn, O Parry, N Mauthner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reports findings from a qualitative study of the health concerns and perceptions of health risks and osteoporosis of women in the age group 40-55 years. Osteoporosis has been increasingly put forward in the popular and scientific press as an important issue fur women in mid-life. A variety of preventive measures, including use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), are suggested. The medicalization of women's experiences and associated use of HRT at this point in the life course is the subject of considerable debate in the medical, social scientific and feminist literatures, although, to date, this issue has received less attention in health promotion. Much of this debate is informed by quantitative and survey data, and there is a lack of in-depth qualitative information on women's own views. This study casts doubt on the salience of osteoporosis for women at mid-life. Our qualitative research suggests that, unless they had experiential knowledge which had rendered osteoporosis particularly salient, most women in this study evidenced a surprising degree of disinterest in this health issue. To make sense of this disinterest we examined women's wider accounts of their lives, health and the lifecourse, and the menopause. These findings would appear to present a challenge for those in health promotion who might wish to emphasize early preventive strategies for osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Education Research
Volume15
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
  • HEALTH PROMOTION
  • MENOPAUSE
  • PREVENTION
  • BEHAVIORS
  • POLITICS
  • EXERCISE
  • MIDLIFE

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