Women’s Experiences of Hot Flushes

Christina Bryant, Bei Bei, Martha Hickey, Fiona Judd

Vasomotor symptoms (VMS), comprising night sweats and hot flashes (HF), are considered among the core symptoms of menopause, are experienced by up to 74% of women, and are a common reason for menopausal women seeking treatment. There is a growing literature concerning psychological correlates of VMS and the potential use of psychological therapies to manage symptoms. However, current approaches are limited by a poor understanding of the processes that mediate the relationship between VMS and psychological factors such as mood and anxiety.

The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the relationship among mood, cognitive processes, and VMS, and to use this information to develop new psychologically based interventions. The objective occurrence of HF will be measured using sternal skin conductance, the gold standard measurement of HF. Subjective experiences of HF will be measured using a HF diary that asks the frequency, intensity, and perceived bother of HF during both daytime and night time. In addition Participants will complete a range of questionnaires assessing the impact of VMS and their beliefs about menopause and their health more generally.

 

Affiliations:

Christina Bryant
Centre for Women's Mental Health, Royal Women's Hospital, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Bei Bei
Centre for Women's Mental Health, Royal Women's Hospital, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Martha Hickey
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Women’s Hospital and
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne
Fiona Judd
Centre for Women's Mental Health, Royal Women's Hospital and
Department of Psychiatry; University of Melbourne

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