Do Finnish women using hormone replacement therapy need more information about risks
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In 1998, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002 and the Million Women Study (MWS) in 2003 have shown a need for re-evaluation of the benefits and adverse reactions of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Consequently the authorities in Europe and USA have issued new recommendations against the use of HRT. The aim of this study was to examine women’s perceptions of HRT since the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative study and the Million Women Study, and the kind of sources women use to obtain information about HRT.
The data was collected with questionnaire survey in the autumn 2003 among 315 women using HRT.
One third of the respondents (35%) had experienced fears concerning HRT use, and more than half (52%) reported that the debate in the media had markedly influenced them; they have experienced fears or worries, considered discontinuation or discussed with the physician. Whereas the most common source of information concerning the benefits of HRT was the physician (74%), the most common source of information concerning the risks of HRT was the media (78%).
This study shows that women using HRT should get more information about the risks from health care professionals. Physicians and pharmacists have an opportunity to alleviate fears and to help women to critically evaluate the information they get from the media. Such discussions are also important to women who have been using HRT for years.
KeywordsCounselling Finland Hormone replacement therapy HRT Medicine information
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