Prevalence of and satisfaction with complementary therapies and hormone replacement therapy in a specialist menopause clinic

A Vashisht, C L Domoney, W Cronje, J W Studd
Climacteric: the Journal of the International Menopause Society 2001, 4 (3): 250-6

OBJECTIVE: To assess the usage of both conventional and complementary therapies by peri- and postmenopausal women for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

METHOD: A prospective questionnaire was completed by 200 consecutive patients attending a tertiary referral London-based specialist menopause clinic between September and December 1999.

RESULTS: The median age of responders was 53.5 years (interquartile range 49-59). In total 137 women (68.5%) had ever tried an alternative treatment for the relief of their menopausal symptoms. Of these women 66% were regular users and 62% were satisfied with the effects of treatment. Women younger than the median age were significantly more likely to have used complementary therapies than older women (p = 0.036). Of the 200 participants, 184 women (92%) were current users of conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and 89% were satisfied with the effects that their current HRT regimen had on their menopausal symptoms. Age was not related to satisfaction with conventional or complementary medicines. General practitioners and hospital doctors accounted only for 17% and 9%, respectively, of the primary sources of information for complementary medicines.

CONCLUSIONS: High rates of usage and satisfaction were found with both conventional and complementary treatments for the relief of menopausal symptoms in our unit. For many of the women, both types of medicine are taken concurrently. Both general practitioners and hospital doctors are poor primary sources of information on complementary therapies for menopausal women.

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