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Factors Associated with Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Women at Midlife

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been established as the first-line treatment for women experiencing menopausal symptoms. The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), however, is becoming increasingly popular among women at midlife for management of such symptoms. Despite the equivocal evidence of CAM’s efficacy in the reduction and alleviation of menopausal symptoms in placebo-controlled, randomized trials, 50% of women at midlife use CAM. To date, several large, population-based studies have focused upon CAM use amongst menopausal women and the factors associated with the adoption of such therapies. By identifying women in the menopausal transition who tend to use CAM, this narrative review highlights evidence that aids women at this stage of life make better and individualized treatment choices to relieve these symptoms. The available evidence suggests that the prevalence of CAM use among menopausal women is high world-wide, but there is a paucity of high-quality studies that adequately assess the factors associated with its use. Further studies are needed to confirm the characteristics of women who employ CAM to manage their night sweats and hot flushes. Results of this study might enable the development of policies catering to the needs of those women and provide a resource to support their decision-making regarding treatment options. Read more here.