English M, Stoykova B, Slota C, Doward L, Siddiqui E, Crawford R, DiBenedetti D. Qualitative study: burden of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and validation of PROMIS sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairment measures for assessment of VMS impact on sleep. J Patient Rep Outcomes. 2021 Apr 26;5(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s41687-021-00289-y.


PURPOSE: We evaluated the impact of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms (VMS) on sleep. We also sought to establish the content validity of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Short Form Sleep-Related Impairment and Sleep Disturbance measures in postmenopausal women with moderate/severe VMS.

METHODS: Cross-sectional, in-person, qualitative interviews were conducted in the US (Texas, Illinois) and EU (UK, France) with women aged 40‒64 years experiencing moderate/severe VMS (≥35/wk). Main outcomes were impact of VMS on sleep based on concept elicitation and content validity of PROMIS sleep-related impairment and sleep disturbance short forms via cognitive debriefing.

RESULTS: Thirty-two women (US: n=16; EU: n=16) participated. A majority (US: 93.8%; EU: 93.8%) said VMS affected sleep; specifically, they had sleep interrupted by sweating or overheating, and difficulty returning to sleep. Sleep disturbance was the most bothersome aspect of VMS (US: 75%; EU: 50%). VMS-associated sleep disturbance affected next-day work productivity, mood, relationships, daily activities, concentration, social activities, and physical health. Participants found both PROMIS sleep measures relevant and easy to answer; the sleep disturbance measure was considered the most relevant. Participants had no difficulty remembering their experiences over the 7-day recall period and found the response options to be distinct.

CONCLUSION: VMS associated with menopause significantly interferes with sleep and next-day functioning (e.g., work productivity), supporting assessment of sleep outcomes in studies evaluating treatment of VMS. Women with moderate to severe VMS found that the PROMIS sleep-related impairment and sleep disturbance short forms assessed constructs important to understanding sleep in the context of menopause-associated VMS.

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