Skip to main content

Psychiatric Morbidity and the Menopause: Survey of a Gynaecological Out-Patient Clinic

  • C. Barbara Ballinger (a1)

Two hundred and seventeen women between the ages of 40 and 55 years referred to a gynaecological out-patient clinic were screened for psychiatric illness by means of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and a brief special questionnaire. Of the 114 women identified as possible psychiatric ‘cases' 104 were interviewed. A standardized psychiatric interview schedule was used. Compared with a general population sample from the same geographical area and in the same age range, women presenting at the gynaecological out-patient clinic were predominantly pre-menopausal and from the lower end of the 15-year age range, and were more likely to be separated or divorced, less likely to be single, and more likely to have had previous or to have subsequent contact with the local psychiatric services. A higher proportion of women were identified as psychiatric ‘cases' in the clinic population than in the general population, and their psychiatric disorder appeared to be more severe and more depressive in nature. The findings for this age group support the view that among women presenting for hysterectomy there is already an excess of psychiatric illness before the operation.

The association of gynaecological complaints and psychiatric morbidity in the pre-menopausal years is discussed.

Hide All
Ballinger, C. B. (1975) Psychiatric morbidity and the menopause: screening of general population sample. British Medical Journal, iii, 344–6.
Ballinger, C. B. (1976) Psychiatric morbidity and the menopause: clinical features. British Medical Journal, i, 1183–5.
Barker, M. G. (1968) Psychiatric illness after hysterectomy. British Medical Journal, ii, 91–5.
Dowling, R. H. & Knox, S. J. (1964) Somatic symptoms in depressive illness: a problem of referral for general practitioners. British Journal of Psychiatry, 110, 720–2.
Goldberg, D. P. (1972) The Detection of Psychiatric Illness by Questionnaire, London: OUP.
Goldberg, D. P. & Blackwell, B. (1970) Psychiatric illness in general practice: a detailed study using a new method of case identification. British Medical Journal, ii, 439–43.
Goldberg, D. P., Cooper, B., Eastwood, M. R., Kedward, H. B. & Shepherd, M. (1970) A standardized psychiatric interview for use in community surveys. British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, 24, 1823.
Maguire, G. P., Julier, D. L., Hawton, K. E. & Bancroft, J. H. J. (1974) Psychiatric morbidity and referral on two general medical wards. British Medical Journal, i, 268–70.
Munro, A. (1969) Psychiatric illness in gynaecological out-patients: a preliminary study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 115, 807–9.
Richards, D. H. (1973) Depression after hysterectomy. Lancet, ii, 430–2.
Robertson, N. C. (1974) The relationship between marital status and risk of psychiatric referral. British Journal of Psychiatry, 124, 191202.
Sainsbury, P. (1960) Psychosomatic disorders and neurosis in out-patients attending a general hospital. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 4, 261–73.
Stengel, E., Zeitlyn, B. B. & Rayner, E. H. (1958) The postoperative psychoses. Journal of Mental Science, 104, 389410.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 3 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 38 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 29th January 2018 - 27th May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Psychiatric Morbidity and the Menopause: Survey of a Gynaecological Out-Patient Clinic

  • C. Barbara Ballinger (a1)
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *