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Decision aid reduces misperceptions about hormone therapy: a randomized controlled trial

Kiatpongsan, Sorapop MD1,2; Carlson, Karen MD3,4; Feibelmann, Sandra MPH3; Sepucha, Karen PhD3,4

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000129
Original Articles

Objective This study aims to evaluate the role of a decision aid intervention in knowledge of menopausal symptom management.

Methods Five hundred fifteen US women who had menopausal symptoms and had discussed symptom management with providers within the past 12 months were assigned to either receive a decision aid or not. Participants completed a telephone survey 2 weeks after enrollment to assess knowledge. Overall knowledge scores and knowledge scores for general symptoms, benefits of hormone therapy, and risks of HT were compared between the decision aid arm and the control arm.

Results Four hundred one women completed the survey. Participants in the decision aid arm had a significantly higher mean (SD) knowledge score (63.3% [18.4%]) compared with the control arm (57.5% [16.4%]; P = 0.001). Specifically, participants in the decision aid arm had significantly higher scores for general symptoms (mean difference, 11.0; 95% CI, 5.3 to 16.6; P < 0.001) and knowledge about benefits of HT (mean difference, 4.2; 95% CI, 0.03 to 8.5; P = 0.048) compared with the control arm. However, scores on knowledge about HT risks were not different between the arms (mean difference, 2.1; 95% CI, −3.0 to 7.2; P = 0.422).

Conclusions The decision aid arm has greater knowledge of menopausal symptom management compared with the control arm, although the difference is small. In general, there is a considerable lack of knowledge about menopausal symptoms and HT risks.

From the 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; 2Harvard Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy, Cambridge, MA; 3Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; and 4Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Received July 22, 2013; revised and accepted September 16, 2013.

Clinical Trial Registration: Measuring Quality of Decisions About Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms (

Funding/support: This work was supported by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: The authors received research and salary support (S.K., S.F., and K.S.) or consulting income (K.C.) from the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that develops decision aids, including the one evaluated in this trial.

Address correspondence to: Karen Sepucha, PhD, General Medicine Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail:

© 2014 by The North American Menopause Society.