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The relationship between stress-coping and vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
1998 (English)In: Maturitas, ISSN 0378-5122, E-ISSN 1873-4111, Vol. 31, no 1, 29-34 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The objective was to assess whether menopausal women with vasomotor symptoms had a lower stress-coping than menopausal women without symptoms and if stress-coping changed when vasomotor symptoms had been effectively treated with estrogens. The objective was also to assess whether menopausal women, effectively treated for vasomotor symptoms, had a higher neuroticism score than women without such symptoms.

Methods: Two groups of physically and mentally healthy postmenopausal women were recruited from the outpatient clinic at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital of Linköping, Sweden. Sixteen women with vasomotor symptoms (target group) were treated with oral 17β-estradiol, 2 mg/day during 3 months. A comparison group was formed comprising 17 women without vasomotor symptoms. The Kupperman Index was used to cover menopausal characteristics in all women at baseline as well as at the second visit after 3 months. Stress-coping was measured by means of the Stress Coping Inventory, which is an instrument developed to measure of the individual's appraisal of having adaptive resources for handling stressful situations. At the second visit all women were also asked to complete the Eysenck Personality Inventory.

Results: Women in the target group had a significantly lower stress-coping than women in the comparison group at baseline as well as after 3 months. Stress-coping did not change after estrogen therapy, although the vasomotor symptoms had virtually disappeared. Women in the target group successfully treated for vasomotor symptoms, had a significantly higher neuroticism score compared to the comparison group.

Conclusions: Differences in behaviour patterns and personality are probably two reasons why some women report or seek advice due to vasomotor symptoms and some women do not. Stress-coping in women with moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms is unaffected by estrogens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 31, no 1, 29-34 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-83011DOI: 10.1016/S0378-5122(98)00058-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-83011DiVA: diva2:558149
Available from: 2012-10-02 Created: 2012-10-02 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Applied relaxation as treatment of vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Applied relaxation as treatment of vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vasomotor symptoms often disturb the night sleep and may lead to tiredness and mood disturbances. Many women who suffer from vasomotor symptoms ask for medical help and are often prescribed hormonal treatment. During the last years the popularity of HRT among women and doctors has decreased, probably because of the findings of long-term risks of HRT on breast cancer and the fact that the positive effects on cardiovascular health has not been confirmed in prospective randomized studies. The most effective treatment for hot flushes is HR T but for various reasons there is a need for developing alternative treatments. Relaxation therapy and behavioral therapies have been suggested for vasomotor symptoms but there are few randomized, controlled studies in this field, especially in women with breast cancer.

The general aim of this thesis was to evaluate a technique in behavior therapy, applied relaxation, as a possible treatment of vasomotor symptoms in healthy women and women treated for breast cancer.

The specific aims were:

• to assess if stress coping differed between postmenopausal women, who wanted therapy for vasomotor symptoms and postmenopausal women without symptoms and to assess if stress coping changed when women with vasomotor symptoms received estrogen therapy. 18 women were recruited to the target group and 17 women to the comparison group

• to evaluate if training applied relaxation for 12 weeks would decrease the number ofvasomotor symptoms and to evaluate if applied relaxation for 12 weeks would affect wellbeing in postmenopausal women seeking medical advice for vasomotor symptoms. 30 postmenopausal women were recruited and randomized to applied relaxation or estrogen therapy. In this study we also aimed to compare applied relaxation and estradiol as treatment of vasomotor symptoms in healthy postmenopausal women and also to compare the effects of applied relaxation and estradiol on wellbeing in healthy postmenopausal women

• to evaluate if applied relaxation or electro-acupuncture for 12 weeks would decrease the number of vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women treated for breast cancer and to evaluate if applied relaxation or electro-acupuncture for 12 weeks would affect wellbeing in postmenopausal women treated for breast cancer. 38 women with breast cancer and with moderate to sever vasomotor symptoms were recruited.

The main results were: Postmenopausal women bothered by vasomotor symptoms had significant lower stress coping ability measured with SCI, than women without symptoms.

Eleven out of 12 healthy postmenopausal women randomised to treatment with applied relaxation had a mean decrease of flushes about 77% six months after end of therapy. The reduction was significant and persisted six months after end of therapy. General psychological wellbeing and mood were significantly ameliorated in healthy postmenopausal women treated with applied relaxation.

Ten out of 14 breast cancer treated women randomised to treatment with applied relaxation had a mean decrease of flushes with 78 %. General psychological wellbeing was significantly ameliorated and this phenomenon appeared after the flushes were significantly reduced. Both the significant reduction of flushes and significantly ameliorated wellbeing persisted 6 months after end of therapy.

In summary: This thesis shows that that behavioral therapy with applied relaxation significantly decreases flushes and ameliorates general psychological wellbeing in postmenopausal women bothered by climacteric symptoms. Therefore we suggest that applied relaxation is a viable alternative treatment of vasomotor symptoms in healthy postmenopausal women and in women treated for breast cancer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping Universitet, 2005. 88 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 900
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-30120 (URN)15595 (Local ID)91-85299-13-8 (ISBN)15595 (Archive number)15595 (OAI)
Public defence
2005-09-22, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Nedstrand, ElizabethWijma, KlaasHammar, Mats

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