Yazdanpanahi, Z, Nikkholgh, M, Akbarzadeh, M., & Pourahmad, S. (2018). Stress, anxiety, depression, and sexual dysfunction among postmenopausal women in Shiraz, Iran 2015. Journal of Family and Community Medicine, 25 (2), 82-87. doi:10.4103/jfcm.JCFM_117_17
The article discusses the connection between, anxiety, depression, stress, and sexual dysfunction in post-menopausal women. The study was conducted in Shiraz, Iran in 2015 under the sponsorship of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. The authors sought to establish an association between mental health status and sexual function among post-menopausal women. According to the authors: “The research was under the hypothesis that sexual health among women with post-menopausal was different from non-menopausal females in terms of depression, stress, and anxiety symptoms” (Yazdanpanahi, Nikkholgh, Akbarzadeh & Pourahmad, 2018, p. 82). Notably, the study was conducted between April and September 2015on 310 post-menopausal women across twelve health facilities.
The authors established that a statistically significant relationship existed between the variables of study, which include depression, anxiety, and stress (independent variables) and sexual dysfunction among post-menopausal women (dependent variable). The article avers that the relationship between all variables is inversely proportional, while depression has a higher impact on sexual dysfunction prediction than any other factor. These observations were in line with other past studies conducted on the same, which explained that the reduction of hormones such as estrogen during menopause stimulates cell membrane permeability as well as the production of receptors and neurotransmitters. Hence, this improves serotonin effects as well as norepinephrine, which lead to depression.
It is worth noting that past comparative studies are not very efficient since this current article combined DASS 21 and FSFI in data collection instrument development although such past studies did not use them simultaneously. Hence, this aspect raises suspicion on whether this difference influenced the observations. Accordingly, they propose a similar studies to be done, especially in Iran to make a comparison with the current findings.
Furthermore, the study was conducted in the year 2015, which could be slightly old given the volatility of demographics. Besides, the study used SPSS version 22 in the analysis, which is slightly outdated. By then, recent versions were already available, which could have offered statistics that are more advanced and better integration to improve on the research findings. Further, the article does not discuss limitations to the study, such as “honesty” of the respondents, considering that the information provided is private and difficult to prove its validity, which raises a question on its credibility. Although the study established the age distribution of the respondents, the information was not used in examining its effect on sexual dysfunction in post-menopausal women. Age is more of an intervening variable in this study and should have been given more consideration than just a demographic feature.
On the other hand, this article was published in the Journal of Family and Community Medicine, which is a reputable peer-reviewed journal in the field of medicine. The four authors are professors, medical science instructors, and reproductive health Ph.D. candidates. Hence, based on their specializations, they are reputable and can be regarded as an authority in this area of study. The authors also included a comprehensive reference list at the end of the article, in which most of the sources are published in journals, demonstrating the credibility of their research.
Another important aspect is that the article offers scientific evidence from a peer-reviewed journal on the association between sexual function and mental health of post-menopausal women. It discusses the effects on depression, anxiety, and stress. The findings offer an avenue for further inquiry on how counseling and awareness promotion can improve sexual health among postmenopausal women.