Sheryl Green, Ph.D., C.Psych. (Psychologist) is a clinical health psychologist within the Women’s Health Concerns Clinic (WHCC) and Consultation Liaison Service, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University. The title of her presentation is
Menopause: The Nature and Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms
Women going through the menopausal transition often experience adverse physical changes (e.g., hot flashes, sleep difficulties, sexual concerns) and emotional difficulties (e.g., depression, anxiety) that can significantly impact functioning and overall quality of life. Notably, women going through menopause are up to four times more likely to experience a major depressive episode during this time in life. Although Hormone Therapy (HT) is considered the gold-standard treatment for relief of menopausal symptoms, a number of health-related risks have been identified with longer-term use for some women and there is an increasing interest in non-hormonal forms of treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured short-term psychotherapy aimed at changing unhelpful ways of thinking nd behaviors that may contribute to the maintenance and severity of symptoms. Pilot research conducted by our research group suggests that CBT is effective at reducing menopausal symptoms (Green et al., 2013) and a larger-scale clinical trial is now underway to confirm these results. In this talk, we will (1) provide information about common menopausal symptoms, (2) discuss of basic elements of CBT for menopausal symptoms, and (3) provide preliminary evidence from our new randomized controlled trial of CBT for women with menopausal symptoms. As consumer demand increases for alternative interventions, this treatment may not only be preferred by some but necessary for others as HT or other pharmacological agents are not viable options for many women given the risks associated with these treatments.