To explore Indian physicians' attitudes and practice toward menopause and its management. To contribute to the larger project aimed at developing communication skills and decision aids for Indian physicians and women.
Using a cross-sectional design, purposive sampling, and a qualitative methodology, 10 Indian physicians (female, 6; male, 4; mean age, 51.5 years) who were practicing either endocrinology or gynecology were recruited to participate in a virtual focus group discussion. Questions explored physicians' attitudes toward menopause and their approach toward addressing menopause and related concerns with their patients. The focus group was analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Three main themes emerged: (1) “The only way to get over it is to accept it”: Attitudes toward menopause, (2) “More than menopausal hormone therapy, it is empathy that's required”: Physiological and psychological symptom management and (3) Matching the empathic intent with skills: A need for training in the management of menopause.
The study findings underscore the need to introduce Indian physicians to empathic communication skills training, involve, and educate physicians about the international and national clinical guidelines regarding menopausal hormone therapy and alternative therapies, and techniques for distress screening and early referrals.