Hunter, M. S., Coventry, S., Hamed, H., Fentiman, I., & Grunfeld, E. A. (2009). Evaluation of a group cognitive behavioural intervention for women suffering from menopausal symptoms following breast cancer treatment. Psycho-Oncology, 18, 560–563.doi: 10.1002/pon.1414
To evaluate a group cognitive-behavioral intervention to alleviate menopausal symptoms (hot flushes [HF] and/or night sweats [NS]) in women who have had treatment for breast cancer.
Following a two-week daily diary assessment, patients were offered six 90-minute weekly sessions of group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT included: information and discussion about menopausal symptoms; monitoring and modifying stimulants that precipitate symptoms; relaxation and paced breathing; and techniques to reduce stress and manage HF, NS, and sleep. The primary outcome measures were HF frequency and HF problem rating. Secondary outcomes included scores on the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ) and scores pertaining to health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as measured by the SF-36®. Beliefs about HF were monitored to examine the effects of CBT.
The study was a single-group, exploratory trial with pre- and posttreatment assessment after six weeks and three months.
Nurses could be trained to conduct structured, interactive, group CBT with individual treatment goals. A randomized, controlled trial is recommended for further investigation.