Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Steven Baumann

Committee Members

Donna Nickitas

Arlene Spark

Linda Perez

Subject Categories

Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Public Health and Community Nursing


weight loss maintenance, perimenopause, qualitative method


Women’s health may be at risk during middle age, a time when women in the United States often gain weight. Being overweight or obese during perimenopause increases a woman’s vulnerability to disabling health sequela in later life, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and osteoarthritis, all of which increase morbidity, mortality, health care costs and decrease quality of life. Stigma and discrimination related to overweight and obesity are associated with delay and avoidance of health care, and with poorer quality health care. Weight loss often is followed by weight regain within three to five years. This qualitative study was designed to understand the meaning of successful weight loss maintenance during perimenopause.

The philosophical framework that guided this study was Merleau Ponty’s interpretive phenomenology. Individual in-depth interviews of a purposeful sample of women collected narrative stories of their own experiences of maintaining an intentional weight loss during perimenopause. The study utilized van Manen’s phenomenological method with the six procedural activities and the three thematic approaches to determine the meaning of weight loss maintenance for this group of women.

Key words: weight loss maintenance, perimenopause, nursing, qualitative method