H Chow, O Righton, H Berry, Z Bell, Angela Flynn

A systematic review of community pharmacy interventions to improve peri- and post-menopausal health

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation due to loss of ovarian follicular function. Symptoms include mood disorders, vaginal atrophy, hot flashes and night sweats and can emerge during a gradual transition period called perimenopause. Community pharmacies are well placed to deliver a wide range of healthcare services, including supporting and educating menopausal women; however, to date, no systematic review has assessed the effectiveness of community pharmacy-led interventions in improving peri- and post-menopausal health. In accordance with PRISMA guidelines we evaluated community pharmacy-led interventions that targeted women in peri- or post-menopause. Electronic searches in EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL and Cochrane Library were conducted on 13th February 2023. Additionally, we examined the included studies references and citation lists using Google Scholar. A total of 915 articles were identified and screened against the inclusion criteria. Two studies were included; one identified post-menopausal women at risk of developing osteoporosis (OP), and one evaluated the outcomes of a community pharmacy-based menopause education programme. Study one found 11 (11%) post-menopausal women were at risk of developing OP based on quantitative ultrasound screening offered by community pharmacists and referred to their physician. Study two reported that women had access to adequate personalised menopause counselling and increased knowledge of menopause topics because of the educational programme within community pharmacies. Both studies were of low quality. The lack of included studies reflects the need for high-quality research to determine whether community pharmacy-led interventions are feasible, effective and acceptable, to improve health outcomes of peri- or post-menopausal women.

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