Symptom monitoring improves physical and emotional outcomes during menopause: a randomized controlled trial

Robin Andrews*, Bev John, Deborah Lancastle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Objectives: A recent systematic review suggested that symptom monitoring can result in reductions in menopausal symptoms and improvements in health-related behaviors. To date, no studies have experimentally investigated whether symptom monitoring could be a beneficial intervention during the menopause transition.Methods: One hundred perimenopausal and postmenopausal women (mean age, 46 y; SD, 8 y) were randomized into either a monitoring-intervention or control group. A mixed between/within design was used, with group membership (ie, monitoring-intervention or control) as the between-subjects component and time (ie, baseline and 2-wk follow-up) as the within-subjects component. Dependent variables included symptom reductions and emotional reactions as measured via the Daily Record Keeping form. Secondary outcomes included help-seeking, communication, medical decision making, health awareness, self-efficacy, and health anxiety.Results: A linear mixed-effects model demonstrated that the monitoring-intervention group reported a 42% reduction in physical symptoms at follow-up versus a 12% reduction in the control group: ρ = 0.009, β = 6.3, 95% CI (1.5-11). Negative emotions also significantly reduced in the monitoring-intervention group but did not alter in the control group: ρ < 0.001, β = 3.4, and 95% CI (1.6-5.2). These effects remained significant after controlling for potential moderator variables such as trait neuroticism and coping preferences and potential confounders such as medical and demographic characteristics. Variances in other health outcomes were nonsignificant.Conclusions: Findings demonstrated that symptom monitoring reduced symptoms and negative emotions within a perimenopausal and postmenopausal sample, and these outcomes endured after controlling for key moderators and covariates. However, symptom monitoring was not related to improvements in health-related behavioral outcomes, which contrasts with previous findings. These findings show that symptom monitoring may be useful within healthcare settings by providing perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with a simple and accessible means of symptom alleviation while they await treatment or medical consultation. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 by The North American Menopause Society.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number9900
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalMenopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Menopause/psychology
  • Emotions
  • Anxiety/therapy
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Health Behavior

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