Supervisor: Sue Ross
Project: Assessment of a mobile app to encourage social and therapeutic walking activity in women during and post menopause
Fort McMurray, AB
Doctor of Medicine
How has your studentship helped you towards your career aspirations?
This is my first exposure to qualitative research and one of the highlights for me was getting to interact with the women who took part in our study via email, phone, and in person during the focus groups. It was incredible to see the impact that these kinds of projects can make in people's lives. These interactions have helped me prepare for starting medical school this fall and the communication and listening skills I gained will not only help me in my career as a physician, but also in my daily interactions.
What has WCHRI's support through the Foundations for your studentship meant to you?
I am incredibly grateful for funding provided by the Alberta Women's Health Foundation. It means so much that the donors are interested in and encouraging of the Summer Student Program. Through their support, not only do students like me get to learn about medical research, but a variety of projects that address important women and children's health issues are able to be done.
Women experience a variety of symptoms during menopause and previous research has shown that regular walking exercise has many physical health benefits for menopausal women. Focus groups conducted by the Mature Women's Health Research Group with participants recruited from the Lois Hole Hospital for Women Menopause Clinic have revealed that walking groups provide a strong social benefit; women enjoy interacting with each other and talking about their shared experiences with menopause. This highlights the specific benefit on mental health in addition to the benefit of regular exercise in menopause walking programs. A mobile application, restricted to registered users, is currently being designed to allow peri- and post-menopausal women to connect and meet with each other for walks around the Edmonton area. Through this app, women will be able to track their progress in menopause symptom changes through rating scales and quality of life questionnaires. We will invite women from the menopause clinic, who have previously consented to be contacted for research purposes, to test the app. We will assess the use of the app through surveys and data collection. The data will evaluate the effectiveness of the app and guide necessary improvements to make the app more effective for both users and for menopause research.