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01.12.2016 | Protocol | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Systematic Reviews 1/2016

Nonpharmacologic, nonherbal management of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms: an umbrella systematic review (protocol)

Systematic Reviews > Ausgabe 1/2016
Karen M. Goldstein, Jennifer R. McDuffie, Megan Shepherd-Banigan, Deanna Befus, Remy R. Coeytaux, Megan G. Van Noord, Adam P. Goode, Varsha Masilamani, Soheir Adam, Avishek Nagi, John W. Williams Jr
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13643-016-0232-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13643-016-0248-y.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

KMG participated in the design of the protocol and drafting of the manuscript. JRM participated in the design of the protocol, coordination of study activities, and revisions to the manuscript. MSB and DB participated in the design of the protocol and drafting of the manuscript. RRC, AG, VM, and SA participated in the design of the protocol and revisions to the manuscript. MGV participated in the design of and executed the literature search strategy. AN participated in the coordination of study activities and revisions to the manuscript. JWW oversaw the study activities and participated in the protocol design and drafting of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats are a common concern of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women and are associated with a decreased quality of life. These symptoms can be effectively managed with hormone therapy, but safety concerns limit its use. Thus, understanding the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic therapies such as acupuncture or yoga is critical to managing these common symptoms in older women. Our review seeks to address the following question: In women with menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms, what are the effects on health-related quality of life, vasomotor symptoms, and adverse events of the following nonpharmacologic, nonherbal interventions as compared with any inactive control or active comparator: (a) acupuncture, (b) yoga, tai chi, and qigong, (c) structured exercise, and (d) meditation, mindfulness-based practices, and relaxation?


We describe a protocol for an umbrella review approach, supplemented by evaluating randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published after the most recent good-quality systematic review for each of the eligible interventions. Specific interventions were chosen based on current literature and with input from a technical expert panel and organizational stakeholders. We will conduct a thorough literature search and perform a quality assessment of potentially included systematic reviews and RCTs.


Our umbrella review, supplemented by an additional search for eligible RCTs, aims to synthesize existing evidence on the use of nonpharmacologic, nonherbal interventions to manage bothersome vasomotor symptoms in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.

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