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Comprehensive Menopausal Assessment: An Approach to Managing Vasomotor and Urogenital Symptoms in Breast Cancer Survivors

Laura Zibecchi
Gail A. Greendale
Patricia A. Ganz
ONF 2003, 30(3), 393-407 DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.393-407

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the development and implementation of a comprehensive menopausal assessment (CMA) and intervention program for women with a history of breast cancer.

Data Sources: Published articles selected from computerized databases, conference proceedings, bibliographies of pertinent articles and books, and lay publications.

Data Synthesis: The CMA program consisted of a structured, comprehensive assessment of three symptoms (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and stress urinary incontinence) and an individualized plan of education, counseling, nonestrogen treatments, psychosocial support, referrals, and follow-up.

Conclusions: A structured approach to evaluating and managing vasomotor and urogenital symptoms with, for example, the CMA, may help breast cancer survivors with severe symptoms more effectively manage these symptoms than "usual care."

Implications for Nursing: Nurses providing care for women with a history of breast cancer can incorporate the key elements of the CMA program into their practice to facilitate more effective management of three common menopausal symptoms that often are undertreated in this patient population.

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