Place of residence and age as variables differentiating health behaviours and perception of health by women past menopause.


Chair and Department of Gynaecology and Gynaecological Endocrinology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Research on the meaning of health and health behaviors is important for the development of health education programmes which should be tailored to the needs of patients.
OBJECTIVE : The aim of the study is to determine whether the place of residence and age have an impact on health behaviours and the perception of health by women past menopause.
METHODS : A survey method and three research instruments were employed: authors' questionnaire, the Health Behaviour Inventory and the Health Criteria List by Juczyński, and the Kupperman Index. The study was carried out among a sample of 102 women after menopause hospitalised in a hospital in eastern Poland.
RESULTS : The overall health behaviour indicator (HBI) in the study group was found to reach an average value of 80.1±12.7points. A higher HBI indicator was found to be characteristic of urban rather than rural residents; however, there was no statistically significant difference (p>0.05). The age of respondents did not differentiate statistically their health behaviours (p>0.05). Women who reported their last menstruation before the age of 50 obtained higher results in the dimension of health practices (HPs) than those whose last menstruation ceased after the age of 50 (p<0.05). The respondents attributed the highest importance to health, understood as a property, a state and a goal. Statistically significant differences were observed in the importance of the statement according to which health is a process of "being able to work without tension and stress", as the respondents from urban areas assigned to it a higher average weight than those from rural areas (p< 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS : A higher overall HBI, as well as indicators for particular categories, were characteristic of women from urban areas. Age did not significantly differentiate the women's health behaviours. Rural residents were dominant in the group of women who rated their health to be very good or good. The respondents attributed the highest importance to health understood as a property, state and goal.


health behaviours,perception of health,place of residence,women pastmenopause,