Psychological and social interventions in the menopause

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Purpose of review

Increasingly, menopause research is using knowledge of psychological and social functioning to understand women's experiences of menopause and develop interventions to treat symptoms or reduce risk factors. Clinicians are more aware of the need to take account of psychological processes when discussing treatment choices, risks and quality of life. Here, we review the most recent developments in this area.

Recent findings

Group interventions based on a cognitive–behaviour therapy approach that address beliefs about symptoms and teach specific techniques (paced respiration) can reduce the frequency of hot flushes. Studies using a health education framework indicate that information is more salient for women when there are given feedback on their own higher osteoporosis risk status. Finally, there are promising signs that interventions to reduce risk factors can lead to sustained lifestyle change.


The increasing interest in psychological and social interventions is reflected in the number of new publications, but there are still too few large-scale well controlled studies. Earlier work on treatment decision making, and the factors predicting treatment choices has not been followed by larger studies. Reported research emphasizes the need for clinicians to assess women's beliefs about menopausal symptoms and use this knowledge to develop shared treatment plans.

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