Prevalence and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine/non-pharmacological interventions use for menopausal symptoms within the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening

  • Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj (Creator)
  • C. Karpinskyj (Creator)
  • C. Glazer (Creator)
  • Matthew Burnell (Creator)
  • K. Bailey (Creator)
  • S. Apostolidou (Creator)
  • A. Ryan (Creator)
  • A. Lanceley (Creator)
  • L. Fraser (Creator)
  • Ian Jacobs (Creator)
  • M. S. Hunter (Creator)
  • U. Menon (Creator)



<b>Objectives:</b> The negative publicity about menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) has led to increased use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and non-pharmacological interventions (NPI) for menopausal symptom relief. We report on the prevalence and predictors of CAM/NPI among UK postmenopausal women. <b>Method:</b> Postmenopausal women aged 50–74 years were invited to participate in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS). A total of 202 638 women were recruited and completed a baseline questionnaire. Of these, 136 020 were sent a postal follow-up-questionnaire between September 2006 and May 2009 which included ever-use of CAM/NPI for menopausal symptom relief. Both questionnaires included MHT use. <b>Results:</b> A total of 88 430 (65.0%) women returned a completed follow-up-questionnaire; 22 206 (25.1%) reported ever-use of one or more CAM/NPI. Highest use was reported for herbal therapies (43.8%; 9725/22 206), vitamins (42.6%; 9458/22 206), lifestyle approaches (32.1%; 7137/22 206) and phytoestrogens (21.6%; 4802/22 206). Older women reported less ever-use of herbal therapies, vitamins and phytoestrogens. Lifestyle approaches, aromatherapy/reflexology/acupuncture and homeopathy were similar across age groups. Higher education, Black ethnicity, MHT or previous oral contraceptive pill use were associated with higher CAM/NPI use. Women assessed as being less hopeful about their future were less likely to use CAM/NPI. <b>Conclusion:</b> One in four postmenopausal women reported ever-use of CAM therapies/NPI for menopausal symptom relief, with lower use reported by older women. Higher levels of education and previous MHT use were positive predictors of CAM/NPI use. UKCTOCS Trial registration: ISRCTN22488978
Date made available22 Mar 2017


  • Menopasual symptoms
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • CAM
  • non-pharmacological interventions
  • NPI
  • prevalence

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