A new position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) published in the journal Maturitas provides a holistic model of care for healthy menopause.
In the article, the researchers argue that the core team around menopausal womenshould consist of a lead clinician, specialist nurse(s) and the woman herself, supported by an interdisciplinary network of medical experts and providers of alternative/complementary medicine. Lead clinicians should provide specialist expertise that is both comprehensive and integrated for the care of midlife women. The core team should also be responsible for structuring and optimizing processes in primary and secondary care.
As the lifespan of women in developed countries continues to increase, menopause can now be considered to be a midlife event. Although not all women will experience short- or long-term problems related to menopause, the high prevalence of hot flushes and vaginal atrophy, which can last for many years, as well as osteoporosis (1 in 3 women are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture), makes caring for ageing women a key issue for health professionals.
EMAS recommends that Europe needs more specialist teams, as the number of women currently entering menopause is on the rise. Furthermore, caretakers should follow EMAS' conceptual framework for healthy menopause and ageing should be used. It is a holistic model of care covering physical, psychological and social functioning and incorporating disease and disability. It also reflects the need of midlife women to at least maintain if not improve their quality of life, which is an integral component of contemporary healthcare.
Professor Margaret Rees, Executive Director of EMAS, commented: "This straightforward model of care and health promotion for midlife women will help empower them to make positive choices for their post-reproductive health and wellbeing."