Women's decision making at menopause: a focus group study
BACKGROUND: Women are faced with a confusion of information and uncertainty when making decisions at menopause. METHODS: We conducted four focus groups of 31 women aged 40-64 years, exploring their experience and views about menopause, its management, and decision support needs. RESULTS: Focus group participants saw menopause as a natural progression rather than a medical condition, and decision making about therapies as a personal responsibility. They wanted reliable, agenda free information, and opportunities to discuss personal needs with (preferably female) health professionals. They preferred minimal intervention and found life style strategies helpful. DISCUSSION: Women's preference to make their own decisions at menopause is frustrated by conflicting information and the perceived marketing agenda of information sources. Women need unbiased, timely, menopause information backed by expert commentary in a range of media to suit their access needs.
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