This study aimed to explore Australian health-care providers’ knowledge of menopause and its consequences, and their views about menopause-related health care.
This was a cross-sectional qualitative study of Australian general practitioners (GPs), gynecologists (GYs) and pharmacists (PHs). Recruitment was ultimately achieved through professional networks and cold calling.
There were equal numbers of GPs, GYs and PHs, and equal numbers of males and females in each group. All participants demonstrated sound understanding of menopause and its consequences. A strong theme was recognition of high usage of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) by women for menopausal symptoms. Most participants highlighted lack of efficacy evidence for most CAMs, but the majority of GPs and PHs considered CAMs to ‘have a role’. Most supported menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) when symptoms impaired quality of life. Limitations to comprehensive care included knowledge gaps and lack of time.
Australian health-care providers appeared knowledgeable about menopause, but uncertain about its management. MHT prescription appeared limited to women with severe symptoms despite lifestyle modification and a trial of CAMs. The upskilling of clinicians providing care for women at midlife, with respect to the indications for and prescribing of MHT, urgently needs to be addressed.