Might mindfulness reduce the severity of hot flashes?

Preliminary evidence supports the feasibility of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in women experiencing severe hot flashes, according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

First, the details.

  • 15 women having at least 7 moderate to severe hot flashes per day attended 8 weekly MBSR classes.
  • The volunteers were assessed for menopause-related quality of life before and at the conclusion of the program.
  • Women kept a daily log of their hot flashes during the 8-week program and for 4 weeks thereafter.

And, the results.

  • Quality-of-life increased significantly.
  • The severity of hot flash decreased 40% over 11 weeks.

The bottom line?
Note: the study reports reduced severity not fewer occurrences.

Regardless, such a small group of volunteers and the absence of a placebo group doesn’t prove much. But as concluded by the authors, “it warrants further investigation.”

9/20/07 17:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.