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Work outcomes in midlife women: the impact of menopause, work stress and working environment

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Article number3
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/04/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Women's Midlife Health
Volume4
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is growing research interest in the question of whether menopause impacts upon mid-aged women’s work outcomes, but the evidence to date is inconclusive. This paper examines whether: (i) menopausal status, and experience of hot flushes and night sweats (HFNS), and whether (ii) work stress and work environment, are associated with work outcomes (absenteeism, job performance, turnover intention, and intention to leave the labor force). An online survey (sociodemographic, menopause, health, well-being and aspects of work) was completed by 216 (pre-, peri- and postmenopausal) women aged 45–60 years. Work outcomes were not associated with menopausal status but were significantly associated with job stress and aspects of the work environment, such as demand, control and support. HFNS presence, frequency and problem-rating were not significantly associated with work outcomes. HF problem rating at work was significantly associated with intention to leave the labor force, after controlling for age (F(2,101), 6.742, p = .002). The main predictors of work outcomes in this sample of mid-aged women were aspects of the working environment (particularly role clarity and work stress). Menopausal status was not associated with work outcomes but having problematic hot flushes at work was associated with intention to stop working. These results challenge assumptions about the menopause transition by providing evidence that the menopause does not impact on women’s self-reported work performance and absence. However, support for women with problematic HFNS at work may be beneficial, as might addressing working environment issues for mid-aged women.