WHAT (Women, Hot-flashes, Activity, Trial) - Physical Activity for Treatment of Hot Flushes Among Postmenopausal Women (WHAT)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01282320
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified July 2013 by University Hospital of North Norway.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
First Posted : January 24, 2011
Last Update Posted : July 2, 2013
University of Tromso
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University Hospital of North Norway

Brief Summary:

More than 60 % of women experience hot-flashes during postmenopausal and 20 % have serious symptoms. Use of combined estrogen/progesterone therapy reduces hot-flashes effectively. In 2001, results from the randomized controlled WHI-study (Womens Health Initiative) showed increased risk for breast cancer and hearth-disease among users of combined estrogen/progesterone therapy. This reduced the use of combined estrogen/progesterone therapy. Many women seek alternative treatment for hot-flashes. They are often told that physical activity can reduce intensity and frequency of hot-flashes. The evidence for this advice is sparse.

The primary hypothesis tested in the WHAT-study will be: Increased physical activity reduce frequency and intensity of hot-flushes among sedentary postmenopausal women with bothersome hot-flushes.

The WHAT-study is designed as a pragmatic randomized controlled clinical trial. To answer the primary hypothesis we will need approximately 500 participants. The logistic in a pragmatic trial of a complex intervention are complicated and we decided to first run a pilot study with 50 participants as a feasibility study. The pilot gives us opportunity to gain experience with possible problems like withdrawals and injuries.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Postmenopausal Symptoms Hot Flashes Behavioral: Physical activity intervention program Phase 4

Detailed Description:

The WHAT study is a pragmatic randomized controlled trial with two parallel arms. The intervention is a 16 weeks individually tailored training programme with one hour physical activity 2-3 times per week. Women randomized to the control group are asked to keep physical activity at the same level as before the study.

Healthy postmenopausal women from Tromso will be recruited to the study by newspaper advertisements and media coverage. Interested women are asked to make a call. A staff member will ask about menopausal status, level of physical activity and diseases. Potential participants will receive a diary by mail and will be asked to record frequency and severity of hot-flashes, and duration of sleep at night for a period of 14 days. Women who return this diary will be asked to sign the informed consent and complete a questionnaire, before the fitness test. Baseline fitness is an important measure in this study. We will measure VO2-max (maximal oxygen consumption) as a proxy for fitness. Whether you are randomized to intervention or control group can influence the fitness test. The participants will therefore be randomized after the fitness test.

Randomization: Unit of Applied Clinical Research, Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, will develop and administrate a web-based randomization system for the WHAT pilot study. The data base will be located at a server at the Medical Faculty at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. The following staff are authorized to randomize people in WHAT pilot study: Sameline Grimsgaard, Merethe Kumle, Sissel Andersen , Jorid Degerstrøm, Svein Arne Pettersen

In this pilot 50 women will be randomized either to intervention group (25 women) or control group (25 women).

Elements in the intervention: A physiotherapist will based on interview and physical examination make a plan for the 16 weeks physical activity programme for each participant. The program will start with Pilates classes and low intensity aerobic training (2-4 weeks). After this period, classes with moderate to high intensity aerobic training will be introduced. The aim of the intervention is to increase aerobic capacity with 10 % from baseline.

Both the intervention group and the control group will receive questionnaires at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 6 months and 1 year after inclusion. We will run the test for physical fitness at baseline and 16 weeks.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 40 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: WHAT - Effectiveness of Physical Activity for Treatment of Hot Flushes Among Postmenopausal Women. A Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Pilot Study
Study Start Date : January 2011
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Increased Physical Activity
Individually tailored training one hour, 2-3 sessions per week.
Behavioral: Physical activity intervention program
Individually tailored exercise programme (combination of pilates and aerobe training) with one hour activity sessions two-three times per week in 16 weeks.
Other Names:
  • Postmenoapsual symptoms
  • VO2-max
  • Physical fitness

No Intervention: Activity as usual ("Buisness as usual")

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in mean hot-flashes frequency and intensity (per 24/hours). [ Time Frame: Baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks , 6 months and 1 year ]
    Potential participants receive a diary by mail and are asked to record frequency and severity of hot flashes and duration of sleep at night for a period of 14 subsequent days. During the study period the participants record frequency and intensity of hot flashes and duration of sleep at night for a period of 7 subsequent days at 4, 8, 12, 16 weeks and 6 months and one year.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Quality of life measured with Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ) 23 items. [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks, 6 months, one year. ]
    We will measure quality of life with Women's Health Questionnaire. This is a self-administered questionnarie. A Norwegian version has been validated psychometric and linguistically.

  2. Depressive symptoms are measured with Beck Depression Inventory -II (BDI-II) [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks, 6 months ]
    The Beck Depression Inventory - Second Edition (BDI-II; Beck et al., 1996) is a 21-item self-report inventory designed to assess the presence and severity of depressive symptoms and is rated on a four-point Likert-type scale ranging from 0 to 3, reflecting the severity of each item. The BDI-II scores are classified as following: 0-13 minimal; 14-19 mild; 20-28 moderate; and 29-63 severe (Beck et al., 1996). A full description of the inventory including psychometric properties can be found in Steer, Ball, Ranieri, and Beck (1999).

  3. Dysfunctional attitudes related to cognitive vulnerability to depression. [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks, 6 months ]
    The Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS)(Form A) (DAS; Weisman & Beck, 1978) is a 40-item self-report inventory to be rated along a seven-point Likert scale ranging from "totally agree" to "totally disagree", designed to assess the presence of dysfunctional attitudes that may relate to cognitive vulnerability to depression (Oliver & Baumgart, 1985). A full description including psychometric properties is provided by Chioqueta and Stiles (2004), Dobson and Breiter (1983) and Oliver and Baumgart (1985).

  4. Increased physical fitness, measured as 10 % increase in VO2-max [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 weeks ]
    Physical fitness will be tested at the Regional Centre for Sport and Health, University of Tromsø, at baseline and after 16 weeks. VO2-max is used as a proxy for physical fitness.

  5. Motivation for change in physical activity - Stages of Change [ Time Frame: Baseline, 16 uker, 6 months and one year ]
    Permanent changes of behavior is difficult. We will use instruments from the Transtheoretical Model of Change, the Stages of Change short and long form to evaluate motivation for increased physical activity among the participants in the WHAT pilot study. The instrument might give valuable information about who a prone drop-out during study period.

  6. Physical activity, motivation and experiences [ Time Frame: Betwen 2nd and 16th week ]
    During the study period approximately 20 women (both from the intervention group and the control group) will be asked to participate i a qualitative study of physical activity, motivation and experiences.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Postmenopausal
  • Natural or induced menopause
  • > 12 months since last menstruation
  • Severe hot flushes (frequency and intensity)
  • Sedentary life style
  • Motivated to increase level of physical activity

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current use of estrogen/progesterone treatment.
  • Physical active (mean activity last six months
  • More than 30 min per regularly exercise sessions at least once a week.
  • Regular exercise sessions are defined as any planned physical activity (e.g., brisk walking, aerobics, jogging, bicycling, swimming, rowing, etc.) performed to increase physical fitness. BMI > 35 kg/m2, disease of illness that can hamper regular training.
  • Current use of HT (systemic or plaster) during last 8 weeks

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01282320

University Hospital of North Norway
Tromsø, Troms, Norway, 9038
Sponsors and Collaborators
University Hospital of North Norway
University of Tromso
Principal Investigator: Sameline Grimsgaard, MD, PhD University Hospital North Norway

Responsible Party: University Hospital of North Norway Identifier: NCT01282320     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: REK2009/1429
First Posted: January 24, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 2, 2013
Last Verified: July 2013

Keywords provided by University Hospital of North Norway:
Randomized Controlled Trial
Clinical Tria
Quality of life
Physical Fitness

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Hot Flashes
Signs and Symptoms