Relieving my discomforts safely: the experiences of discontinuing HRT among menopausal women

Authors

  • Pei-Shan Lee PhD, RN,

    Nurse Practitioner
    1. Department of Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan
    2. College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Chyi-Long Lee MD,

    Medical Physician and Professor
    1. Department of OB/GYN, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan
    2. College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan
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  • Shui-Tao Hu MSN, RN,

    PhD Candidate, Nursing Supervisor and Part-time Instructor
    1. College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. College of Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan
    3. Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan
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  • Lee-Ing Tsao DNSc, RN

    Vice President, Dean and Professor, Corresponding author
    1. College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Correspondence: Lee-Ing Tsao, Vice President, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, No. 365, Ming Te Road, Peitou 112, Taipei, Taiwan. Telephone: +886 2 2822 7101 ext. 3184.

      E-mail: leeing@ntunhs.edu.tw; leeing.tsao@gmail.com

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Abstract

Aim and objectives

To generate a descriptive theoretical framework about the experiences of women who discontinued hormone replacement therapy.

Background

Some menopausal women would depend on hormone replacement therapy for relieving their menopausal symptoms. However, most of them feared of hormone replacement therapy's side effects and tried to discontinue hormone replacement therapy immediately. How did these women self-manage their discomforts without using dependent medicine – hormone replacement therapy? There are few studies conducted on this issue.

Design

A grounded theory research was applied.

Methods

Nineteen Taiwanese women discontinuing hormone replacement therapy for three months, aged 45 to 67 years, participated in face-to-face audio-taped interviews. Data collection, and coding of interviews, and data analysis occurred simultaneously. All conversations were audio-recorded and then transcribed as verbatim text. The constant comparative method was used to analyse the interview data.

Results

‘Relieving my discomforts safely’ was the core theme for describing and guiding the process of discontinuing hormone replacement therapy. ‘Immediately discontinuing hormone replacement therapy – it would hurt my body’ was identified as the antecedent condition. Analyses showed five dimensions to the women's relieving my discomforts safely: (1) symptoms bothered me again, (2) negative emotions, (3) learning to let it go, (4) trying to use nonhormone replacement therapy or products and (5) choosing safely therapies as first priority. Finally, some women would choose their suitable nonhormone replacement therapy way, and some women would reuse hormone replacement therapy cautiously.

Conclusions

Relieving my discomforts safely’ was the first-priority consideration for the menopausal women discontinuing hormone replacement therapy. It is the challenge to establish the health programme or management for helping these women felt safety and security to relieve their menopausal symptoms by using hormone replacement therapy or nonhormone replacement therapy.

Relevance to clinical practice

Healthcare providers need to empower women the rights of decision-making of using hormone replacement therapy and assist them in monitoring their health status to reduce their fear and uncertainty.

Ancillary