Instrument Information

  • The scale is intended specifically to be a brief and standard measure of core climacteric symptoms or complaints to be used for comparative and replicative purposes across different types of studies whether they are medical, psychological, sociological or epidemiological in nature.

  • Depending on the purpose of the research and research questions, this scale would be supplemented by other measures assessing characteristics of climacteric women relevant to the hypotheses being studied.

  • A 21-item questionnaire that measures a variety of menopausal symptoms on a 4-point Likert scale (0 = “not at all” to 3 = “extremely).

  • Three separate sub-scales measure vasomotor symptoms, somatic symptoms, psychological symptoms, and an additional probe related to sexual function. Psychological symptoms can be further sub-divided to measure anxiety and depression.

  • Seven factor analytic studies involving a total sample size of 3,124 subjects were conducted to develop the Scale.

  • The general consensus that emerged from the seven studies was that climacteric symptoms fall into three major independent groups. This was true whether the sample is from the general population or from a patient population.

  • Only symptoms that have a factor loading >0.35 in three or more studies were selected for the scale.

  • Of the 20 symptoms that emerged 10 (50%) had a factor loading >0.35 in six or seven studies, a further seven (35%) had a factor loading in four or five of the studies leaving only three symptoms meeting the minimum requirements of agreement by three studies. This indicates a very high degree of concurrence regarding the 20 symptoms.

  • Reliability - Test-retest of 50 menopausal women over a 2-week period yielded of 0.87 for the psychological scale, 0.84 for the somatic (physical) scale, and 0.83 for the vasomotor scale. These values are statistically highly significant.

  • Content Validity – Only symptoms which have been confirmed by other factorial studies as having a statistically significant factor loading have been included in the final scale.

  • Construct validity has been demonstrated in relation to life stress, bereavement, psychological treatment, and hormone replacement therapy.

  • The scale is designed for completion by the subject, but if desired or necessary, it could be used in the form of a structured interview.

  • Completion time for the scale is approximately 5 minutes.

Normative Data

(Menopausal and postmenopausal urban Scottish women randomly sampled from the electoral role or consecutive referrals to a menopause clinic.)

Diagnostic Use

The Scale can also be used to identify menopausal women who are severely and possibly clinically anxious and/or depressed. The recommended cut-off points are:

Clinically Anxious = Anxiety Score of 10 or more
Clinically Depressed = Depression Score of 10 or more

These scores are based on a comparative study of the Scale with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, a scale designed to diagnose psychiatric disorders among general hospital patients.


Instrument Information


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International Menopause Society

The Mission Statement of IMS is to promote and advance communication, education and research of all aspects of the health of the of the adult women, worldwide.

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