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Knowledge, attitude and practice of Filipino Gynecologists on menopausal hormonal therapy: Where are we now?

Mary Grace M. Villafuerte, MD and Agnes L. Soriano-Estrella, MD, MHPEd, FPOGS, FPSSTD
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines-Manila

Objective: This study evaluated the knowledge, attitude and practice of Filipino gynecologists towards hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out among practicing Filipino gynecologists in different regions of the Philippines from April to October 2018. A self-administered questionnaire was used to identify the current knowledge, attitude and practice of gynecologists regarding the use of hormonal replacement therapy.

Results: There were 369 respondents included in the study. Our findings indicate that the most common indication for MHT are vasomotor symptoms and vaginal dryness. Almost all Filipino gynecologists participating in this study were aware that MHT will improve vasomotor and urogenital symptoms, sexual dysfunction and mood. Majority of them correctly agreed that MHT will decrease the risk of osteoporosis and coronary artery disease. On the other hand, at least half of the respondents falsely believed that MHT can decrease the risk for cognitive dysfunction, cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease and vascular thrombosis. Only 68% of the respondents agreed that they have adequate knowledge about the treatment options for postmenopausal symptoms and as much as 32% of them are still not confident with their knowledge. Majority (65%) of Filipino gynecologists do not routinely recommend or offer the use of MHT to every postmenopausal woman.

Conclusion: The knowledge and attitude of gynecologists on hormonal therapy play an important role in the decision making of a woman during her climacteric period. Basic knowledge on menopausal symptoms and indications for hormonal therapy are known to the respondents but these knowledge do not translate to practice.