All relevant ethical clearances have been sought for this project from the University of Newcastle (H07-60795) and University of Queensland (200400024). All participant information has been de-identified and confidentiality protected. The authors have no financial conflicts with the publication of this article. This work has not been published elsewhere.
‘Patience, hormone replacement therapy and rain!’ Women, ageing and drought in Australia: Narratives from the mid-age cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health © National Rural Health Alliance Inc.
Australian Journal of Rural Health
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 324–328, December 2012
How to Cite
Rich, J. L., Wright, S. L. and Loxton, D. (2012), ‘Patience, hormone replacement therapy and rain!’ Women, ageing and drought in Australia: Narratives from the mid-age cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 20: 324–328. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2012.01294.x
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2012
- Accepted for publication 24 May 2012.
Objective: This paper explores women's experiences of drought in Australia. Despite the significance of drought for rural life in Australia, there is little research seeking to understand its psychological consequences. There is also a need to recognise gendered experiences of drought and for research that addresses its long-term effects as people age in prolonged drought-affected areas.
Design: The study explores longitudinal qualitative data collected by the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Free-text comments (n = 217), collected via mailed survey at five time points (1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007) from the same 77 women, were subjected to a narrative analysis.
Participants: Participants from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health who were aged 45–50 when the study began in 1996.
Results: Findings indicate that drought has an impact on women as they age, particularly in reference to menopause, access to support systems and retirement.
Conclusion: This study concludes that the experience of drought cannot be disentangled from the realities of gender and ageing.