As Australia and other advanced nations seek to increase women’s participation in the workforce, understanding their unique health needs across the lifecycle is critical. While much policy and practice focuses on women of childbearing/rearing age, it is vital that we also understand and support women who are transitioning to, or are in, their menopausal years. The menopause transition affects all women and trans (binary and non-binary) people with ovaries, representing a large current and future segment of the working population; approximately 3.2 million Australian women aged between 45-55 will experience menopause.
In the context of these challenges and the opportunities for improved care and support, effective, personalised and scalable solutions are needed. Digital health technologies may be one such solution that helps women better manage their menopausal symptoms in the workplace, offering a single, customisable and scalable portal for women to access a wealth of information and support. To this end, we propose to develop and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of an integrated care model focusing on awareness, education, empowerment and behavioural change and using a digital health platform to build an engaged Smart Health Community. This project will be a 9-month pilot that precedes a larger systematic randomised control trial evaluation. If it proves successful, the technology will 1) be commercialised and marketed to the network of corporate partners we have established in Australia and are continuing to build; and 2) may be extended to cater to health challenges experienced by a broader population of working women, including endometriosis, infertility and premenstrual syndrome.
- Examine the evidence base for digital interventions and Smart Health Communities to address menopausal change.
- Develop and assess the feasibility and acceptability of a Smart Health Community for women of menopausal age.
- Develop and pilot a suite of measures to evaluate the impact of the Smart Health Community on perceptions and experiences of menopausal change and coping with menopause within the workplace, from the perspective of women and their employers.
- Present the findings of the research to employees and employers to assess their interest in engaging in the Smart Health Community to address menopausal change in the workplace.