Objective: The publication of the results of the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial in 2002 resulted in a critical discussion on the risks and benefits of hormone therapy (HT), including estrogen plus progestogen therapy and estrogen therapy. The aim of the present study was to evaluate German gynecologists’ self-prescription habits regarding HT compared with their habits of prescribing HT to their patients, as an expression of their attitude toward HT.
Methods: A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was sent to all 9,589 German gynecologists in private practice in November 2010.
Results: The response rate was 3,227 (33.7%). This article reports the results for 2,549 eligible questionnaires. A total of 2,459 (97.0%) respondents favored HT for themselves or their female partner.
Conclusions: This report describes the first study in Germany showing an underuse of HT among patients in comparison with the self-administration behavior of gynecologists. For various indications, most German gynecologists favored HT for themselves or their female partner (female gynecologists, n = 1,538, 96%; male gynecologists, n = 917, 98.5%, respectively). This study demonstrates that although the great majority of German gynecologists have a favorable attitude regarding personal use of HT, various discrepancies between physician and patient care exist, especially for the indications of cognitive disorders, achievement of overall well-being, and antiaging. This finding calls for a more unified treatment of perimenopausal and postmenopausal disorders.