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Menopause and work: An overview of UK guidanceBackground: Recent evidence suggests that some women experience menopausal symptoms that impact on their working lives, and that work environments can impact upon the experience of menopause. As a result, guidance for employers and other key stakeholders about this potential occupational health issue has emerged. To date there has not been a review of these documents to identify their main recommendations for policy and practice. Aims: To provide a narrative overview of such guidance and summary of content. Methods: Documents published in the UK and available in a major UK trade union library were searched systematically to identify guidance on the topic of menopause and work. An inductive thematic analysis was performed to identify the main themes addressed. Results: Twenty-five relevant documents, on average eight pages long, were identified. A minority indicated that the use of scientific evidence informed the content. Five overarching themes were identified: (i) legislation; (ii) policy; (iii) information and training needs; (iv) workplace support; and (v) the physical work environment. Conclusions: This overview of UK guidance revealed common areas of concern about reducing and managing difficulties experienced by working menopausal women. Possible areas for action were identified. Some recommendations were common across much of the guidance, whereas others were exclusive. Future guidance might include consideration of all these issues, while making reference both to the evidence base and sources of further information.
EMAS recommendations for conditions in the workplace for menopausal womenWomen form a large part of many workforces throughout Europe. Many will be working throughout their menopausal years. Whilst the menopause may cause no significant problems for some, for others it is known to present considerable difficulties in both their personal and working lives. During the menopausal transition women report that fatigue and difficulties with memory and concentration can have a negative impact on their working lives. Furthermore, hot flushes can be a source of embarrassment and distress. Some consider that these symptoms can impact on their performance. Greater awareness among employers, together with sensitive and flexible management can be helpful for women at this time. Particular strategies might include: fostering a culture whereby employees feel comfortable disclosing health problems, allowing flexible working, reducing sources of work-related stress, providing easy access to cold drinking water and toilets, and reviewing workplace temperature and ventilation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Study protocol of a multicentre randomised controlled trial of self-help cognitive behaviour therapy for working women with menopausal symptoms (MENOS@Work)BACKGROUND: Hot flushes and night sweats (HFNS) - the main symptoms of the menopause transition - can reduce quality of life and are particularly difficult to manage at work. A cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) intervention has been developed specifically for HFNS that is theoretically based and shown to reduce significantly the impact of HFNS in several randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Self-help CBT has been found to be as effective as group CBT for these symptoms, but these interventions are not widely available in the workplace. This paper describes the protocol of an RCT aiming to assess the efficacy of CBT for menopausal symptoms implemented in the workplace, with a nested qualitative study to examine acceptability and feasibility.