This project aimed to empower women aged 45 to 65 in five B.C. communities in making key mid-life health decisions through education and community involvement. The project focused on bone health and heart health as well as lifestyle changes and illness prevention strategies related to menopause. Each community tailored its program to its own needs. Some communities used discussion groups, others held conferences; yet others set up newsletters, magazines, and Web pages to inform and involve women. Participants said they gained new knowledge about coping with menopausal symptoms, felt more confident in making decisions, and intended to make major lifestyle changes. Some women, however, felt more confused about the range of options for therapy. A key benefit was the opportunity to socialize and learn about menopause from other women in mid-life. First Nations women did not feel comfortable in larger forums and preferred small groups that they could organize in their own communities.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.