Patient Knowledge About Hormone Replacement Therapy: Implications for Treatment


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Abstract

Objective:To determine whether women's global self-assessment of their knowledge about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) corresponds to their performance on an explicit knowledge test about HRT and to measure associations among knowledge, personal characteristics, decision conflict, and intention to use HRT.Design:Preintervention telephone survey of 156 women enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of HRT decision aids.Results:The mean rating of menopause knowledge, on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating being “extremely knowledgeable,” was 5.6 (range = 0-10) and of HRT was 4.2 (range = 0-9). The mean summary score for the explicit HRT knowledge test, on a 16-point scale, was 7.8 (range = 0-15). After adjustment for demographic characteristics and exposure to a provider conversation, higher income, white race, and the provider discussion were significant correlates of knowledge.Explicit knowledge was positively correlated with self-assessed menopause knowledge and HRT knowledge (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.39 and 0.52, respectively; p < 0.0001). Greater knowledge was not associated with intention to use HRT 1 year later. Women who had greater knowledge reported less conflict about the HRT decision (Spearman's correlation coefficient = −0.32; p < 0.0001).Conclusions:A global question about level of knowledge is an effective clinical tool for identifying patients who are in need of additional education about HRT and menopause in this managed care population. Increased knowledge may decrease women's conflict about the HRT decision. Having had a previous conversation about menopause with a primary care provider is associated with greater knowledge about HRT. (Menopause 2000;7:266-272. © 2000, The North American Menopause Society.)

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