Boosting communication can help sail through menopause

Washington : Sailing through menopause sans breaking a sweat may be as easy as boosting communication as a recent study has suggested that the patients use alternative medicine more than health care providers know.

The study is published online by the journal Maturitas.

A review of previous studies about how women manage menopause symptoms by the University of Delaware researchers has found that they frequently use alternative treatments but often do not inform their doctors about them.

In the collaboration with Melissa Melby, lead author Dunia Tonob conducted a literature review – collecting, assessing and synthesizing previously published information on the subject of menopause and what is called CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine.

“We wanted to step back and take a broader view of how physicians can relate to their patients who may or may not be using CAM,” Tonob said.

“Menopausal women use alternative medicine at very high rates,” Melby noted, often because they don’t feel that biomedical treatments have been helpful or that such treatments are too aggressive. In turn, she said, doctors often seem dismissive of CAM and can be quick to label any benefits a woman experiences as a placebo effect.

The study she and Tonob conducted seeks to raise awareness among healthcare providers about the use of CAM and open lines of communication with their patients.

“Biomedical practitioners who make an effort to learn about CAM and ask patients about their CAM use or interest may dramatically improve the patient-provider relationship and rapport,” they wrote in a summary of their paper. “By working with women to integrate their CAM-related health-seeking behaviors and treatments, providers may also boost the efficacy of their own biomedical treatments.” (ANI)