Defining perceptions and utilization of pharmacotherapy for menopausal symptoms among Chinese immigrant women in British Columbia

By 2017, one in five people living in Canada will belong to a visible minority group, and nearly half (between 3.2 and 4.4 million) will be Chinese or South Asian. A variety of factors – including language, education, socioeconomic status and employment – affect health and access to health care. Gender, ethnicity, and immigration are also increasingly recognized to have a significant impact. Medication use for menopausal symptoms has not been explored in the context of gender, ethnicity and immigration in Canada. Women, particularly Chinese women, have historically been underrepresented in clinical trials, resulting in a limited understanding in this group. As a result, few studies have examined Chinese immigrant women’s experiences with medications for menopausal symptoms. Dr. Elaine Chong will focus on a knowledge gap relating to medications used for menopausal symptoms, among Chinese immigrant women who access health services through a specialized outpatient clinic in Vancouver. Chinese immigrant women constitute a group that has health disparities and may have less access to evidence-based care than other women in Canada. Chong’s research will help shed light on differences in medication use and health disparities among a vulnerable group. She hopes these results can be applied to culturally-appropriate interventions that support Chinese immigrant women in attaining optimal health status.