Health coaching may be used to help women through the ‘change of life' - and researchers at The University of Western Australia's Centre for Health and Ageing (WACHA) are calling for volunteers to test the benefits.
WACHA Director, Winthrop Professor Osvaldo Almeida, said a new Perth study aimed to prevent depression and mood disturbances in women during their menopausal transition.
"US data suggests that nearly one in every four women experiences clinically significant depressive symptoms as they transition towards menopause," he said.
"Symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, hot flushes and night sweats, sleep disturbances, urinary problems, muscle and joint pains and mood changes.
"We want to see if health coaching can ease their symptoms."
Health coaches work to keep people healthy by providing education about health issues, suggesting lifestyle changes and best ways to deal with existing health problems.
Menopausal transition usually starts at around age 47 and lasts from four to seven years. The ‘menopause' is the last menstrual period and on average happens at age 51.
"The spectrum of physiological, psychological and social changes that women undergo during menstrual transition is varied and we will manage them using a multi-faceted preventive strategy," Professor Almeida said.
"Our approach will be similar to that used to prevent heart disease, where multiple risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, poor diet, alcohol use and smoking are targeted simultaneously.
"We expect that preventing depression during the menopausal transition will have long-term health benefits for older women."