Perceptions, Benefits, and Use of Complementary and Integrative Therapies to Treat Menopausal Symptoms: A Pilot Study

Marnie L. Vanden Noven, Mia Larson, Emma Lee, Cavan Reilly, Mary Fran Tracy, Manda L. Keller-Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Menopause symptoms can be debilitating, and the use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) has declined significantly since the Women's Health Initiative. Materials and Methods: We surveyed 508 peri- and postmenopausal females to determine (1) the use of complementary and integrative therapies (CIT), MHT; and pharmacotherapies; (2) the perceptions, perceived benefits/risks of CIT, MHT; and pharmacotherapy use; and (3) factors associated with CIT and MHT use for menopause symptom treatment. Results: The majority of respondents used CIT to treat menopause symptoms based on physician recommendation and research studies. Treatments that were perceived as most beneficial included exercise, mind-body therapies, diet, and spiritual practices, with exercise and mind-body therapies chosen to treat the most common symptoms of sleep disturbances, depressive mood, and anxiety. Higher education level was the main predictive variable for choosing exercise (odds ratio [OR] = 1.27, p = 0.02) and mind-body therapies (OR = 1.57, p = 0.02) to treat menopausal symptoms. Perceptions, beliefs, and use of different CIT by primarily white, affluent, and educated peri- and postmenopausal females to treat menopause symptoms, including sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety, are driven by conversations with physicians and evidence-based research. Conclusion: These findings reinforce the necessity for both additional research in more diverse populations, as well as comprehensive, individualized personalized care from an interdisciplinary team that considers the best options available for all female patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-147
Number of pages12
JournalWomen's Health Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K01AG064038-01A1, EJL: F32HL160012.

Publisher Copyright:
© Marnie L. Vanden Noven et al., 2023; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2023.


  • complementary alternative medicine
  • exercise
  • integrative health
  • perimenopausal
  • sleep disturbances
  • vasomotor

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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