The study objective was to evaluate physicians’ knowledge, attitude, and practices toward menopause and hormone therapy.
This study was a cross-sectional study using a stratified sample of physicians across the four health regions in Jamaica, between September and October 2017. A total of 145 physicians (75% response rate) completed a questionnaire to assess knowledge and attitudes toward menopause and prescribing hormonal therapy. Univariate and bivariate analyses were used to describe and compare the knowledge, attitudes, and practices in participants.
The majority of physicians (66%) self-reported a moderate level of knowledge of menopausal treatment options. Self-reported knowledge was associated with years in practice (P < 0.0001) and level of experience (P < 0.0001). Those who identified as having good and moderate knowledge were likely to discuss treatment options with patients (P < 0.005), while physicians with good knowledge were more likely to prescribe hormone therapy (P < 0.05). Correct responses regarding common menopause symptoms were noted in >60% physicians; however, there was a precipitous fall in correct responses regarding findings related to the Women's Health Initiative (<45%). More consultant grade physicians were confident and less confused about prescribing hormone therapy (P < 0.05) compared to junior grade physicians. When stratified by level of experience, knowledge level was the factor that discouraged physicians from seeing symptomatic menopausal patients (P < 0.05).
This study highlights the gaps in knowledge and practices and a need for carefully designed curricula to provide individualized, risk-mitigated training in menopause healthcare.