US women desire greater professional guidance on hormone and alternative therapies for menopause symptom management

Jun Ma, Rebecca Drieling, Randall S Stafford
Menopause: the Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2006, 13 (3): 506-16

OBJECTIVE: Women increasingly use alternative therapies for menopause symptom relief. We examined 1) current use and perceptions of hormone and alternative therapies for symptom relief among US women, and 2) healthcare provider involvement in women's decision making.

DESIGN: An online survey was completed by a national sample of 781 US women aged 40 to 60 years (72% survey completion rate) drawn from the Knowledge Networks panel in June 2004. Nationally representative estimates of women's use and perceptions of hormone and alternative therapies were made by accounting for sampling weights and survey design.

RESULTS: Hormone therapy was reported among 263 or 37% of this largely symptomatic sample, of whom 59% had stopped primarily due to concern about its potential risks. Herbal products and soy supplements separately were used among 31% and 13% of symptomatic women, of whom 41% and 67% were current users. Forty-four percent of herb users considered these products helpful with symptom relief. Sampled women generally felt ill informed about proper doses and usage of herbal products. Also, 58% of the sampled women expressed at least some concerns about these products, whereas proven safety was the most important factor when women consider such products. Despite considering healthcare providers the most reliable source of information, sampled women expressed low confidence in their ability to give sufficient information about treatment options for menopause symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Alternative therapies have become increasing popular and are quickly approaching hormone therapy in frequency as therapies for symptom relief among menopause-age women in the United States. However, large gaps exist between patient expectations and provider preparedness to guide patient decision making.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"