To develop a decision support intervention that can be used with women experiencing menopausal symptoms to facilitate treatment shared decision making.
Our research team contacted patients with reported menopausal symptoms by telephone to obtain consent and administer a baseline survey. Subsequently, we sent participants a booklet on the treatment of menopausal symptoms. A nurse educator then contacted participants by telephone to review the booklet and guide them through a structured decision counseling exercise designed to help clarify treatment preference. A 60-day endpoint telephone survey was completed.
Forty-eight consenting participants completed the baseline survey and 37 (77%) also completed a decision counseling session. At baseline, 19 of the women who had decision counseling were not being treated for menopausal symptoms and 18 were being treated. After decision counseling, 13 (68%) participants who were not being treated and 14 (78%) who were being treated identified a preferred treatment. Comparison of baseline and endpoint survey data showed that participant treatment knowledge increased (P = 0.007) and treatment decisional conflict decreased (P < 0.001). Furthermore, 71% of participants reported that they had received new information about treatment and 94% said they believed better prepared to discuss treatment with their healthcare provider.
Nurse-led decision counseling increased participant treatment knowledge, reduced treatment decisional conflict, and helped to clarify treatment preference. Implementation of this strategy could help to facilitate provider-patient shared decision making about the treatment of menopausal symptoms.