A pooled analysis of three studies of nonpharmacological interventions for menopausal hot flashes

Menopause. 2019 Apr;26(4):350-356. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001255.

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to conduct a pooled analysis of three published trials of nonpharmacological interventions for menopausal hot flashes to compare the effectiveness of interventions.

Methods: Data from three randomized controlled trials of interventions for hot flashes (two acupuncture trials, one yoga trial) were pooled. All three studies recruited perimenopausal or postmenopausal women experiencing ≥4 hot flashes/d on average. The primary outcome for all three studies was frequency of hot flashes as measured by the Daily Diary of Hot Flashes. Study 1 participants were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of acupuncture treatments (active intervention), sham acupuncture (attention control), or usual care. Study 2 participants were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of yoga classes, health and wellness education classes (attention control), or waitlist control. Study 3 randomly assigned participants to 6 months of acupuncture or waitlist control. To standardize the time frame for these analyses, only the first 8 weeks of intervention from all three studies were used.

Results: The three active interventions and the two attention control groups had statistically similar trends in the percentage reduction of hot flashes over 8 weeks, ranging from 35% to 40%. These five groups did not differ significantly from each other, but all showed significantly greater reduction in hot flash frequency compared with the three usual care/waitlist groups.

Conclusion: Acupuncture, yoga, and health and wellness education classes all demonstrated statistically similar effectiveness in reduction of hot flash frequency compared with controls.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Menopause*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Yoga*