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Perceived Barriers and Recommendations Concerning Hormone Replacement Therapy Counseling Among Primary Care Providers



To increase our understanding of the factors that impede or promote counseling about hormone replacement therapy, we asked clinicians to provide information concerning barriers and strategies to promote counseling.


We asked clinicians to consider two different scenarios: (1) what they do in they current practice and (2) what they would do if their health care systems implemented the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendation regarding hormone replacement therapy counseling. A total of 49 of 50 invited clinicians participated in one of six focus group interviews (three women's groups and three men's groups). Our analysis consisted of four steps: (1) identifying segments and classifying them into themes, (2) categorizing themes into topic areas, (3) establishing a final consensus of themes and topics, and (4) ascertaining similarities and contrasts among groups. Transcripts of sessions were analyzed across groups for themes using a text-based analysis system. Conceptualization of themes was derived using a system model of preventive care. Interrater agreement before consensus was good: Kappa (kappa) ranged from 0.70 to 1.00.


For current practice, identified barriers included lack of information about risks and benefits, unique challenges of counseling, and lack of resources to conduct counseling. The major strategies suggested were to develop and distribute patient education materials. Discussions about barriers to implementing the United States Task Force recommendation focused on lack of information and resources.


Suggested strategies were multiple, involving individual-, relationship-, and system-level interventions. We expect the strategies identified to be supportive of future efforts to promote counseling for hormone replacement therapy.

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