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Alternative Mental Health Medicine

Provider Understanding of CAM Use in Menopause Is Key

HealthDay News

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THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many women use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for menopause, and increased provider understanding may improve provider-patient communication and treatment effectiveness, according to a review published in the May issue of Maturitas.

Dunia Tonob and Melissa K. Melby, Ph.D., from the University of Delaware in Newark, conducted a narrative review to expand providers' understanding of cross-cultural approaches to treating and managing menopause.

The researchers note that increased provider understanding and awareness may improve provider-patient communication as well as treatment effectiveness. Women for whom biomedicine has been unsuccessful or inaccessible often seek CAM. Due to the individualized nature of illness patterns and associated treatments, which complicate the design of randomized controlled trials, assessing the effectiveness of CAM is challenging. Biomedical practitioners who make an effort to learn about CAM and ask patients about CAM use may improve the patient-provider relationship because many women seek CAM due to inefficacy of biomedical treatments or cultural or economic marginalization, according to the authors.

"By working with women to integrate their CAM-related health-seeking behaviors and treatments, providers may also boost the efficacy of their own biomedical treatments," the authors write.

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