Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and guided self-help CBT in reducing hot flush and night sweat (HF/NS) problem rating at 6 and 26 weeks after randomization.
Methods: This was a randomized control trial of 140 women having 10 or more problematic HF/NS a week for at least a month. The primary outcome was HF/NS problem rating (1-10) at 6 weeks after randomization. Secondary outcomes were physiologically measured HF/NS at 6 weeks; HF/NS problem rating at 6 weeks; and frequency, mood (Women’s Health Questionnaire), and health-related quality of life (General Health Survey Short Form–36) at 6 and 26 weeks. Intention-to-treat analysis was used, and between-group differences were estimated using linear mixed models.
Results: Baseline mean (SD) HF/NS weekly frequency was 63.15 (49.24), and problem rating was 5.87 (2.28). Group and self-help CBT both significantly reduced HF/NS problem rating at 6 weeks—group CBT versus no treatment control (NTC; adjusted mean difference, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.36-2.88; P < 0.001) and self-help CBT versus NTC (adjusted mean difference, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.29-2.86; P < 0.001)—and at 26 weeks—group CBT versus NTC (adjusted mean difference, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.54-2.13; P = 0.001) and self-help CBT versus NTC (adjusted mean difference, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.36-2.02; P = 0.005). Group and self-help CBT significantly reduced night sweat frequency at 6 and 26 weeks. There were improvements in mood and quality of life at 6 weeks and improved emotional and physical functioning for group CBT at 26 weeks.
Conclusions: These results suggest that CBT delivered in group or self-help format is an effective treatment option for women during the menopause transition and postmenopause with problematic HF/NS.