The Mindful Menopause Project


In the years leading up to menopause – known as the menopause transition – women experience a 2-4 fold increased risk of developing depression. Our research suggests that the hormonal environment of the menopause transition may contribute to this increased risk by sensitising women to stress, making them more vulnerable to depressed mood when they encounter stressful life events. Psychological interventions aimed at reducing stress sensitivity may therefore benefit this population. Funded by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, the Mindful Menopause Project aims to test the efficacy of an intervention called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), an 8-week group program which combines yoga and meditation techniques, in reducing the risk of depression in the menopause transition. 

 

The Mindful Menopause Project is currently recruiting women in Saskatoon! If you are between the ages of 42 and 55, are currently experiencing menstrual irregularity, and are not taking antidepressant medication or hormones, you may qualify! Participation in the Mindful Menopause Project involves the following components:

 

  1.  Enrollment: During a 1-2 hour phone call, you would be asked questions about your current and past mood symptoms. You would also be asked to complete a number of questionnaires about your medical history and menopausal symptoms.
  2. Mood Assessment and Urine Samples: Starting on the first day of your next menstrual period following the enrollment session, you would be asked to complete a brief questionnaire and collect a small sample of urine every other day for approximately 50 days. This allows us to measure each woman’s mood sensitivity to natural fluctuations in reproductive hormones.
  3.  Randomization: Once you have completed the last of your urine samples, you would be randomly assigned to either begin the mindfulness intervention in the near future or to receive it after the six-month treatment-free mood monitoring period. Whether you are assigned to the intervention right away or not is determined completely by chance and is out of the study staff’s control.
  4. Mindfulness Intervention: You would be asked to participate in eight 2.5-hour mindfulness-based stress reduction sessions, which are led by instructors with specialized training in mindfulness practices. All sessions are held in the evening at Queen’s House in Saskatoon and include meditative practices such as mindful yoga and meditation. In addition to the evening sessions, the intervention includes a single 7-hour weekend retreat.
  5. Treatment-free Mood Monitoring Period: Every two weeks for six months, you would be asked to complete a brief questionnaire about your mood.

 Participants receive $150 in compensation and yoga mat to keep! Click HERE to complete a brief eligibility survey or contact us for more information!