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An examination of the health and wellbeing of childless women : A cross-sectional exploratory study in Victoria, Australia

Graham, Melissa L., Hill, Erin, Shelley, Julia M. and Taket, Ann R. 2011, An examination of the health and wellbeing of childless women : A cross-sectional exploratory study in Victoria, Australia, BMC women's health, vol. 11, no. 47, pp. 1-24.

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Title An examination of the health and wellbeing of childless women : A cross-sectional exploratory study in Victoria, Australia
Author(s) Graham, Melissa L.
Hill, Erin
Shelley, Julia M.
Taket, Ann R.
Journal name BMC women's health
Volume number 11
Issue number 47
Start page 1
End page 24
Total pages 24
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1472-6874
Summary Background
Childlessness among Australian women is increasing. Despite this, little is known about the physical and mental health and wellbeing of childless women, particularly during the reproductive years. The aims of this exploratory study were to: 1) describe the physical and mental health and wellbeing and lifestyle behaviours of childless women who are currently within the latter part of their reproductive years (30 – 45 years of age); and 2) compare the physical and mental health and wellbeing and lifestyle behaviours of these childless women to Australian population norms.
Methods
A convenience sample of 50 women aged between 30 and 45 years were recruited to participate in a computer assisted telephone interview. The SF-36 Health Survey v2 and lifestyle indicators were collected in regards to women’s health and wellbeing. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, t-tests for independent sample means and 95% confidence intervals for the difference between two independent proportions.
Results
Childless women in this study reported statistically significant poorer general health, vitality, social functioning and mental health when compared to the adult female population of Australia. With the exception of vegetable consumption, lifestyle behaviours were similar for the childless sample compared to the adult female population in Australia.
Conclusions
Childless women may be at a greater risk of experiencing poor physical and mental health when compared to the Australian population. A woman’s health and wellbeing during her reproductive years may have longer term health consequences and as such the health and wellbeing of childless women requires further investigation to identify and address implications for the provision of health (and other social) services for this growing population group.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111404 Reproduction
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Graham et al. ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30040312

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.