Women's use of information regarding hormone replacement therapy


  • Dr. Marilyn Rother,

    Corresponding author
    • College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
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    • All authors are at Michigan State University: Marilyn Rothert, PhD, RN, is a professor in the College of Nursing; David Rovner, MD, is a professor and Margaret Holmes, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine; Neal Schmitt, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychology; and Geraldine Talarczyk, EdD, RN, is an associate professor in the College of Nursing. Jill Kroll, MA, and Jagadish Gogate, PhD, are graduate assistants.

  • David Rovner,

  • Margaret Holmes,

  • Neal Schmitt,

  • Geraldine Talarczyk,

  • Jill Kroll,

  • Jagadish Gogate


For perimenopausal women, an important decision is whether or not to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The decision is complex because HRT involves judgment in weighing gains and losses related to physiological risk. Gains involve relief of hot flashes and prevention of osteoporosis; losses include cancer mortality and side effects of medication. A policy-capturing study of 283 perimenopausal women showed that the factor of most frequent concern was relief of hot flashes. Cluster analyses identified four major groups. Group 4 had an n of 9 and the lowest R2, making interpretation of data questionable. The largest group responded to hot flashes alone; the second to hot flashes and osteoporosis; and the third to hot flashes, somewhat to osteoporosis, but also to side effects of estrogen/progestin therapy. Results indicate nursing interventions should anticipate differences in women's concerns and tailor counseling appropriately.