A recent clinical trial demonstrated that a group cognitive-behavioral therapy protocol for menopause (CBT-Meno; Green et al.
Menopause2019;26(9):972-980) was effective in reducing menopausal symptoms, including vasomotor and depressive symptoms. The current analyses evaluated the effectiveness of CBT-Meno in improving menopause-specific beliefs, dysfunctional attitudes associated with depression, and menopause-specific behaviors. Methods
In a subset of participants from the larger trial, women assigned to CBT-Meno or waitlist and who had completed symptom, cognitive, and behavioral measures at least at baseline were included. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 12 weeks after baseline, and 3 months after treatment. Measures included the Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale, the vasomotor subscale of the Greene Climacteric Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory II, the Hot Flush Beliefs Scale, the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, and the Hot Flush Behavior Scale (HFBehS).
As reported in the main study outcomes (Green et al.
Menopause2019;26(9):972-980), CBT-Meno participants reported greater improvements than waitlist in terms of vasomotor symptom interference and depressive symptoms (Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale, Beck Depression Inventory II; partial eta-squared [ η2 p] = 0.15-0.18), although not in vasomotor severity (Greene Climacteric Scale [vasomotor subscale]; η2 p = 0.05). CBT-Meno participants reported greater improvements than waitlist in menopause-specific beliefs (Hot Flush Beliefs Scale; η2 p = 0.08-0.12), dysfunctional attitudes (Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale; η2 p = 0.09), and menopause-specific behaviors (HFBehS; η2 p = 0.08-0.12). Within-group analyses showed improvements in CBT-Meno on all variables ( d= 0.38-1.26) except in cooling strategies ( d= 0.18). Gains in CBT-Meno were maintained from posttreatment to 3-month follow-up, although a decrease in positive coping behaviors was observed (HFBehS—positive behavior subscale; d= 0.99). Conclusions
The CBT-Meno protocol is effective in improving menopause-related symptoms and a broader range of outcomes, including problematic beliefs about menopause, dysfunctional attitudes related to depression, and menopause-specific behaviors.