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Perceptions of using herbal medicines for managing menopausal symptoms: a web-based survey of Korean medicine doctors

Jun JH1Lee HW2Choi J3Choi TY1Lee JA4Go HY5Lee MS1.

Integr Med Res. 2019 Dec;8(4):229-233. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2019.08.004. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

 

 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most women experiencing menopause have sought out traditional treatment options to relieve their symptoms. The aim of this study, which used a web-based survey, was to investigate perceptions of Korean medicine doctors (KMDs) on managing menopausal symptoms with herbal medicines.

METHODS:

We developed and then sent a questionnaire via email to a total 497 KMDs in obstetrics and gynecology affiliated with the Society of Korean Medicine. The questionnaire consisted of three categories and a total of 26 items focusing on major menopausal symptoms, prescriptions, pattern identification, and background characteristics.

RESULTS:

Out of the 497 KMDs, we received responses from 48 doctors, a response rate of 9.7%. The most common symptoms of menopausal disorder perceived by responded KMDs were hot flashes (22.9%), sleep disorders (18.2%), systemic fatigue (12.5%), and sweating (12.0%). The herbal medicines reported to be the most effective when treating patients with menopausal disorders were Jiawei shaoyao-san (12.5%), Jiawei guipi-decoction (11.8%). The responding KMDs recommended one to two months of treatment for female menopausal disorder, using two to three doses of herbal medicine per day in combination with traditional Korean medicine (KM) therapies such as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, and pharmacopuncture.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this survey may provide information about doctor’s perceptions on using herbal medicines to manage patient’s menopausal symptoms. Future studies should be done with a larger sample size to overcome the limitation of this study and to examine how KM is used for treating menopausal symptoms in clinical practice.