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Women's decision making about hormone replacement therapy balanced being in control with fear, uncertainty, and dislike of medications

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QUESTION: What is the process women go through when deciding whether to begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (either oestrogen and progesterone or oestrogen alone)?


Qualitative study using individual interviews and focus groups.


Community study in Stockton-on-Tees, UK.


1649 women aged 20–69 years who were part of 8 general practices were sent questionnaires on their attitudes and knowledge about health and HRT. 1225 women completed the questionnaire and from these women, a stratified random sample was drawn to identify 17 women who were interviewed and 25 women who participated in 1 of 5 focus groups. All women who were interviewed or in the focus groups were white European.


Interviews focused on the women's personal stories and included discussion of general attitudes to health, development of attitudes toward HRT, and what had influenced the HRT decision. Focus groups were held to explore …

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  • Source of funding: Economic and Social Research Council.

  • For correspondence: Dr F Griffiths, Primary Care Unit, School of Postgraduate Medicine, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.