Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) affect 50-85% of women during peri-menopause, a natural transition that begins with changes in the length of time between periods and ends 1 year after the final menstrual period. Symptom bother is such that, offered the choice, 52% of surveyed women prefer a lifespan shortened by 90 days to further enduring their worst perimenopausal (PMP) symptoms for 30 days. Peri- and post-menopausal individuals seek healthcare to manage symptoms, yet often do not receive treatment. Some people lack access to providers of both medical care and evidence-based integrative health interventions such as acupuncture. MENOGAP has been designed to fill a GAP in MENOpausal women's healthcare and includes group medical care, evidence-based integrative healthcare and education, and social support. The SPUR Student project will comprise two components (1) working on a study that is designed to pilot test MENOGAP and to assess feasibility and acceptability, and (2) to support the PI in ongoing Community Advisory Board (CAB) meetings with midlife women to develop and disseminate educational videos about diverse women's experiences of menopause.
1. Complete all ethics (CITI and COI) training and certifications.
2. MENOGAP will be delivered at South Jordan Health Center on a weekly basis. Attend, assist the PI, and observe the group medical visits.
3. CAB meetings: help to coordinate, attend, and participate in subsequent qualitative data analysis
4. Lab and project meetings: attend at least one and likely 2-3 lab and project meetings, attended by PI, students and local, national and international collaborators
5. Other, as emergent and mutually-determined
Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits
1. Community-engaged research: meeting with CAB members, observing me lead CAB meetings
2. Data analysis: training and conduct of qualitative data analysis (conventional content analysis)
3. Authorship on at least one abstract or manuscript: significant time will be spent mentoring the student in academic writing, and the student, if they put forth the effort, will earn authorship on at least one scientific deliverable.
4. Interdisciplinary and international team: I lead a team of experts located in the US, UK, Ireland, & Australia with medicine, nursing, acupuncture/East Asian medicine, and social epidemiology expertise. The SPUR student will attend interdisciplinary and international lab meetings 1-2 times per week. This is an unusual and exceptional networking and socialization opportunity for a SPUR student.
5. EDI - our lab is not only committed to improving equity, diversity, and inclusion, we are actively developing, adapting, and testing health interventions that will achieve EID aims. We are developing several interventions with Indigenous (NativeMENOGAP) and Latina (LatinaMENOGAP) midlife women and their communities and applying an intersectional lens to our work.
As a translational, feminist, clinician-scientist, my objective is to reduce the disproportionate symptom burden during menopause across socioeconomic strata by developing and implementing effective interventions feasible in public health settings and utilizing complexity-informed research methods. Specifically, my long-term goal is to improve the scientific understanding and use of acupuncture to improve symptom experience by applying novel, advanced methods grounded in complexity science.