Association between consultations with complementary/alternative medicine practitioners and menopause-related symptoms: A cross-sectional study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Climacteric, 2015, 18 (4), pp. 551 - 558
Issue Date:
2015-01-01
Metrics:
Full metadata record
© 2015 International Menopause Society. Objectives To examine the associations between consultations with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners and menopause-related symptoms. Methods A cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of 10 011 women aged 59-64 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, conducted in 2010. Women, including those with hysterectomy, oophorectomy and natural menopause, were asked about their consultations with a range of CAM practitioners and menopause-related symptoms experienced. Results Acupuncturists were more likely to be consulted by women with hysterectomy experiencing night sweats (odds ratio, OR = 2.21), but were less likely to be consulted by those experiencing hot flushes (OR = 0.53). Acupuncturists were also more likely to be consulted by women with oophorectomy (OR = 3.11) and natural menopausal women (OR = 1.57) experiencing back pain. Massage therapists were more likely to be consulted by women with oophorectomy experiencing back pain (OR = 1.98), women with hysterectomy experiencing anxiety (OR = 1.52), and natural menopausal women experiencing back pain (OR = 1.54) and/or anxiety (OR = 1.29). Naturopaths/herbalists were more likely to be consulted by women with oophorectomy experiencing leaking urine (OR = 2.08). Chiropractors/osteopaths were more likely to be consulted by women across all menopausal status experiencing back pain (OR = 2.52, 2.31 and 2.25 for women with oophorectomy, hysterectomy and natural menopause, respectively). Conclusions There are substantial levels of CAM practitioners' consultations amongst menopausal women, with a range of menopause-related symptoms associated with the use of specific CAM practitioner modalities. It is important that health-care providers are mindful of CAM practitioner use in order to ensure safe, effective and coordinated treatment and support for menopausal women in their care.
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