Research: PENG and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 221

Abstract

PENG and COLLEAGUES, From the Australian Research Center in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia reviewed the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among menopausal women.

Background

This study aims to undertake the first critical review of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among menopausal women (a term here used to include premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women) by focusing on the prevalence of CAM use and CAM users' characteristics, motivation, decision-making, and communication with healthcare providers.

Methodology

A comprehensive search of 2002-2012 international literature in the Medline, CINAHL, AMED, and SCOPUS databases was conducted. The search was confined to peer-reviewed articles published in English with abstracts and reporting new empirical research findings regarding CAM use and menopause.

Results

A considerable level of CAM use was observed among women in menopause. Many menopausal women use CAM concurrently with their conventional medicine. However, communication regarding CAM between menopausal women and healthcare providers seems less than optimal, with a demand for further information on the safety and efficacy of medicines. Existing literature is of variable methodological rigor, often presenting small sample sizes and low-quality data collection. Further rigorous research on this topic-including quantitative and qualitative methods using large national samples, where relevant-is required. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this critical review provide insights for those practising and managing health care in this area of women's health. Healthcare providers should prepare to inform menopausal women about all treatment options, including CAM, and should be aware of the possible adverse effects of CAM and potential interactions between CAM and conventional medicine among women in menopause who are under their care.

Conclusion

References

Peng W, Adams J, Sibbritt DW and Frawley JE. Critical review of complementary and alternative medicine use in menopause: focus on prevalence, motivation, decision-making, and communication.  Menopause. 21(5):536-48. doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e3182a46a3e. May 2014.

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