Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Barbara Heater


menopause hormone therapy, body image in women, depression in women


The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine differences in depressive symptomology and perceived body image in postmenopausal women who currently used HRT with women who never used HRT and women who had previously used HRT but were currently not. Few medical treatments presently available for postmenopausal and menopausal women have such substantial benefits, and risks, as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The study is based on findings that document the use of HRT in preventing chronic illnesses that afflict elderly women. Chronic illness and disability has been shown to increase the incidence of depression in the general population. Chronic illness also impacts individuals' perceptions of body image. One hundred forty-two postmenopausal women who either currently used HRT, previously used HRT, or never used HRT completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Body Image Scale (BIS), and the Body Image Visual Analog Scale (BIVAS) to assess their depressive symptomology and perceived body image. A questionnaire designed by the writer was also used to assess demographic, income, social, and health-related variables. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) found no significant difference in body image or depression scores among the three groups of women. There was also no significant difference found in body image and depression scores by HRT regimen utilizing ANOVA. A Pearson product-moment correlation was computed between each scale and demographic, income, social support, and health variables. Significant relationships were found between social satisfaction (r = .42, p = .00), weight (r = .27, p = .00), number of health problems (p = .26, r = .00), and income (r = -.23, p = .01) with depression scores. There was no significant correlation between identified variables and body image with the exception of arthritis (r = .26, p = .002) and weight (r = .36, p = .00). Correlation between the body image scales and CES-D scores were BIVAS (r = .23, p = .00) and BIS(r-.43, p = .00).
Although not statistically significant, women who had never used HRT had lower BIVAS and BIS scores than women who were currently taking HRT with lower scores implying a more positive body image. The mean CES-D score for the entire sample was 10.04, with scores greater than 15 indicative of depression. Although not statistically significant, women who currently used HRT had slightly lower mean CES-D scores than women who had never used HRT. The findings suggest that there is no difference in body image and depression among postmenopausal women who do and do not use HRT.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Menopause -- Hormone therapy
Body image in women
Depression in women



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Nursing Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright