Clinical Trial Knowledge Tied to Prescribing of Menopausal Hormone Therapy

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Clinical Trial Knowledge Tied to Prescribing of Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Clinical Trial Knowledge Tied to Prescribing of Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Clinicians more familiar with clinical trial data demonstrated greater enthusiasm for prescribing menopausal hormone therapy, new data presented at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2014 Annual Meeting suggest.

Using an anonymous Internet-based survey, researchers polled obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and primary care physicians (PCPs) about their knowledge of clinical trials involving menopausal hormone therapy, such as the Women's Health Initiative, as well as their attitudes about menopause and hormone therapy.

The researchers evaluated knowledge using nine statements about menopausal hormone therapy trials. Response scale consisted of “true,” “false” or “don't know,” ranging from 0 to 9. They also gauged enthusiasm with a seven-point response scale of “extremely likely” to “extremely unlikely,” ranging from 6 to 42, in terms of treating patients.

Of the 501 physicians included in the survey (median age, 51.0 years; 26.9% women), about half (49.9%) were OB/GYNs. Median time in practice was 19.0 years, the researchers wrote in an abstract.

Results revealed a moderate positive correlation between menopausal hormone therapy knowledge (mean standard deviation [SD]=2.8) and enthusiasm (mean SD=24.5) that reached statistical significance (P<.0001). This suggested a link between higher knowledge and greater enthusiasm for providing menopausal hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms.

Data showed increased knowledge and enthusiasm among OB/GYNs, as compared with PCPs, with researchers noting effect sizes that ranged from moderate to large.

Gender and length of time in practice were also linked to variations in knowledge and enthusiasm, according to the results. Male physicians were more enthusiastic but not more knowledgeable than female physicians about menopausal hormone therapy. Additionally, knowledge but not enthusiasm was increased as a function of time in practice, the researchers reported.

They also noted that prescribers were significantly more knowledgeable than non-prescribers (P=.015).

“Knowledge of the results of large, published clinical trials of [menopausal hormone therapy] was positively associated with enthusiasm for prescribing [menopausal hormone therapy] for managing menopausal symptoms, with OB/GYNs significantly more knowledgeable and enthusiastic than PCPs,” the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Taylor HS et al. Abstract S-9. Presented at: North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2014 Annual Meeting; Oct. 15-18, 2014; Washington, D.C.
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