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This study found notable improvements in the frequency, severity, and duration of hot flashes and night sweats among participants who received face-to-face counseling and those who received counseling over the phone.

Menopause is a physiological phenomenon associated with several complications and associated disabling stress. Counseling and relaxation techniques aid postmenopausal women in coping with vasomotor symptoms. This randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of phone-based and face-to-face counseling for postmenopausal women experiencing vasomotor symptoms utilizing cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT). 

The study concluded that both methods have similar effectiveness in alleviating vasomotor symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes. The findings are published in the journal Postepy psychiatrii neurologii.  

Study Characteristics

The RCT enrolled 40 postmenopausal women, who were randomly assigned to phone counseling and face-to-face counseling groups. Each participant was subjected to six counseling sessions. Two women withdrew from each group.

Frequency, Duration, and Severity of Vasomotor Symptoms

There was a significant within-group difference across face-to-face and phone-based counseling groups based on the frequency, duration, and severity of night sweats and hot flashes before, immediately after, and 8 weeks following the CBT intervention. The outcomes persisted for 8 weeks following the completion of the CBT intervention.

Significant Decrease in Hot Flashes Observed in Both Groups

In the face-to-face group, the weekly frequency of hot flashes decreased from an average of 31.92 ± 7.98 to 18.83 ± 7.35, while in the phone counseling group, it decreased from 33.32 ± 7.77 to 19.53 ± 7.7. The severity of hot flashes was significantly reduced in both groups, with the face-to-face group experiencing a decrease from 2.24 ± 0.28 to 1.21 ± 0.23, and the phone counseling group seeing a reduction from 2.23 ± 0.24 to 1.20 ± 0.18. Moreover, the duration of hot flashes also decreased in both groups; the face-to-face group reported a reduction from 4.22 ± 1.17 min to 2.79 ± 0.91 min, and the phone counseling group experienced a decrease from 4.29 ± 1.23 min to 2.68 ± 0.95 min.

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Face-to-Face and Phone Counseling Both Reduced Night Sweats

The frequency of night sweats decreased from an average of 2.34 ± 0.31 to 1.21 ± 0.24 in the group that received face-to-face counseling, while it decreased from 2.33 ± 0.31 to 1.14 ± 0.16 in the group that received counseling over the phone. Additionally, the severity of night sweats decreased from an average of 1.70 ± 0.34 to 1.03 ± 0.29 in the face-to-face group and from 1.59 ± 0.34 to 1.01 ± 0.30 in the phone counseling group. The positive effects of the intervention were still evident in both groups even 8 weeks after the completion of the intervention.

Both phone-based and face-to-face CBT-based counseling of postmenopausal women has similar effectiveness in alleviating vasomotor symptoms, such as night sweats and hot flashes.

Source

Sadeghijoola, N., Afshari, P., Jofreh, M., Haghighizadeh, M., & Abedi, P. (2022). Comparing the effects of face-to-face versus phone counseling based on cognitive-behavioral therapy for vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Postępy Psychiatrii I Neurologii, 31(3), 114–120. https://doi.org/10.5114/ppn.2022.122499