• Agatha A. Quinn PhD, RN

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Agatha A. Quinn, PhD, RN, has a B.S.N. from Hunter College, City University of New York, an M.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Colorado, 1988. She is currently an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado. Her area of expertise is in adult health and medical surgical nursing, and she is particularly interested in the health care of middle-aged women and feminist methodology.

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing, C-288, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Denver, CO 80262.


The purpose of this qualitative investigation was to generate theory grounded in the responses of perimenopausal women about the process of menopause. A purposive sample of 12 perimenopausal women was interviewed to discover the menopausal process. Data were generated from interviews, two-month daily logs, and field notes. A substantive theory of integrating a Changing Me identified the perimenopausal process, which included four categories: Tuning Into Me, My Body and Moods, which described the awareness of physical and emotional changes that initiated the beginnings of menopause; Facing a Paradox of Feelings, which reflected the thoughts, perceptions, and feelings experienced by perimenopausal women; Contrasting impressions, which described the assimilation of information and the formulation of the woman's own personal meaning; and Making Adjustments, which included changes made by the women in response to this process. Implications for health care and education of perimenopausal women are discussed.