Mindfulness-based stress reduction for hot flashes

December 1, 2006

Because previous studies have suggested that higher levels of stress and lower coping abilities are associated with more frequent and/or severe hot flashes, researchers from Massachusetts conducted a pilot study of 15 women to determine if participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program would have any effect on hot flashes and menopause-related quality of life.

Because previous studies have suggested that higher levels of stress and lower coping abilities are associated with more frequent and/or severe hot flashes, researchers from Massachusetts conducted a pilot study of 15 women to determine if participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program would have any effect on hot flashes and menopause-related quality of life. MBSR uses meditation to attempt to alter one's perception, appraisal, and reaction to difficult physical or emotional situations.

The researchers found that those women who attended eight weekly MBSR classes had significantly higher quality-of-life measure scores, a decrease in hot flash severity of about 40%, and a mean decrease in hot flash frequency of 39%. The 13% dropout rate over the course of the investigation indicates that the class and home practice time required by MBSR is not prohibitive.

Carmody J, Crawford S, Churchill L. A pilot study of mindfulness-based stress reduction for hot flashes. Menopause. 2006;13:760-769.