Study looks at breathing techniques to manage hot flashes


INDIANAPOLIS -- (Feb. 3, 2010) -- If you suffer from hot flashes, you might be able to better manage them by learning a new breathing technique.

Janet S. Carpenter, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., a researcher with the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center and a professor with the IU School of Nursing, is leading the study that tests a new way to treat hot flashes without medications by breathing. The study, Breathe for Hot Flashes, is open to women who are having hot flashes either because of menopause or breast cancer.   

Participants in the study will be placed into one of three categories:

  • Group 1 will learn a breathing technique with printed instructions and a mailed CD.
  • Group 2 will learn a different breathing technique with printed instructions and a mailed DVD.
  • Group 3 will get a letter but will not be taught either breathing technique. (At the end of the study, this group will have the option to learn one of the breathing techniques.)

To participate, you must be:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Having daily or nightly hot flashes
  • Living within 60 miles of Indianapolis or willing to come to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
  • Able to breathe normally without any difficulties
  • In good general physical and mental health

The study involves three to four visits over 16 weeks. The visits can be done in your home or on the IUPUI campus. During the visits, participants will fill out questionnaires and receive a small device to help keep track of their hot flashes. Also, participants receive a $25 gift card after each visit.

“We hope to learn if this kind of technique that women can use to self-manage their hot flashes will work,” Dr. Carpenter said.

If you are interested in participating in Breathe for Hot Flashes, call (317) 278-6094.