Hot flashes and depression among menopausal women : is acupuncture an effective intervention?
The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of individualized acupuncture and self-care versus self-care only on hot flashes, health related quality of life (HR-QoL) and depression in postmenopausal women, experiencing a high frequency of hot flashes. The study also aimed to shed light on the question about an association between menopause and depression. It was conducted on a subsample from the Acuflash-study (Borud et al., in press) and involved a pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial with two parallel arms. A heightened prevalence of depression, as measured with Beck Depression Inventory, was found, compared to the general population. Both use of acupuncture in addition to self-care, and self-care only, led to significant improvements in hot flash frequency and intensity, improvements in the vasomotor and anxiety/fears dimensions of the Women’s Health Questionnaire, and decreased severity of depression from baseline to 12 week follow-up. No significant differences were found between the acupuncture group and the self-care group on these measures, implying the importance of the treatment experience as a whole. A model for the relationship between menopause and depression is proposed, including an intervening cognitive component between the presence of hot flashes and psychological reactions.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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