The effects of relaxation response training on menopausal symptoms
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 1996
Pages: 202 - 207
Source ID: shanti-sources-44256
Abstract: The specific aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of elicitation of the relaxation response for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes and concurrent psychological symptoms. The volunteer sample consisted of 33 women, between the ages of 44 and 66 years, who were in general good health, with a minimum of 6 months without a menstrual period, experiencing at least five hot flashes per 24-h, and not using hormone replacement therapy. The setting was an outpatient clinic in a tertiary care teaching hospital. The interventions used were relaxation response training and an attention-control group and a daily symptom diary measuring both the frequency and intensity of hot flashes, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Profile of Mood Scale (POMS) were the measures used. This was a randomized, controlled, prospective study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups (relaxation response, reading, or control) for the 10-week study. The first 3 weeks of baseline measurement of frequency and intensity of hot flash symptoms, and the preintervention psychological scores were compared with the final 3 weeks measurement of frequency and intensity and the postintervention psychological scores for symptomatic improvement. The relaxation response group demonstrated significant reductions in hot flash intensity (p < 0.05), tension-anxiety (p < 0.05) and depression (p < 0.05). The reading group demonstrated significant reductions in trait-anxiety (p < 0.05) and confusion-bewilderment (p < 0.05). There were no significant changes for the control group. Daily elicitation of the relaxation response leads to significant reductions in hot flash intensity and the concurrent psychological symptoms of tension-anxiety and depression.