First Advisor

Leslie G. McBride

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Studies






Menopause -- Alternative treatment, Naturopathy, Women -- Health and hygiene -- Sociological aspects



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 101 p.)


A grounded theory method was used to investigate the experiences of women who use naturopathic medicine, a system of alternative therapy, for health care during the menopausal transition. Transcripts of 16 in-depth interviews with women who received naturopathic health care during the menopausal transition were analyzed with respect to three research questions: (a) Why do women seek naturopathic health care during the menopausal transition? (b) Do women who use naturopathic treatment for menopausal health care share similar experiences of menopause? and ( c) Are women satisfied with the naturopathic treatment they receive for menopausal health care? Conditions leading to informants' use of naturopathy were represented by two categories: Practicing natural self-care, and Rejecting the conventional medical system Experiences of menopause were represented by three categories: It's not a singular event, Paying attention to changes in and around me, and Information helps. Informants' satisfaction with naturopathy for menopause-related health care was represented by four categories: Naturopathy is consistent with engaging in natural self-care practices, Naturopathy is effective in treating troubling menopausal signs, Naturopathy addresses individual and interrelated aspects of menopause, and Naturopathy provides moral and informational support. Continued analysis of the data revealed a core category, Exchanging infonnation, that provided a foundation for the theoretical model representing the experience of women who use naturopathic health care at menopause. The grounded theory developed in this study may be useful to health professionals by increasing understanding of the naturopathic health care option for menopausal women. Suggestions for further study include quantitative evaluation of components of the theory developed in this study, continued qualitative and quantitative investigation of aspects of information exchange between patients and their conventional and alternative practitioners, application of grounded theory methodology to studies of women's use of hormone replacement therapy, and application of grounded theory methodology to studies of patients' selection of alternative medicine for health matters other than menopause.


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