Care during menopause: Comparison of a women's health practice and traditional care

Colleen A. Ryan, William A. Ghali, Renee D. Boss, Mark A. Moskowitz, Karen M. Freund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Despite the growth in primary care-based women's health centers, little is known about the characteristics of women's health patients and the quality of care provided in women's health centers versus traditional practices. Our objective was to compare a women's health practice and a general internal medicine practice on issues of care during menopause. A cross-sectional survey was administered simultaneously to patients aged 50-70 and their primary care physicians in a women's health practice and an affiliated general internal medicine practice. The survey asked patients about health behaviors, past and current hormone use, menopausal symptoms, and attitudes about menopause. Physicians were asked to estimate their patients' attitudes. Patients in women's health practices were younger, more likely to be smokers, and more likely to have had a prior hysterectomy. Women's health patients were somewhat more likely to report concerns related to menopausal symptoms. Women's health patients and patients attending the general internal medicine practice reported similar rates of past or current use of hormone therapy, after adjusting for prior hysterectomy and age. Physicians in women's health and general medicine were similar in their ability to estimate their patients' attitudes. In the general internal medicine practice, female physicians tended to better estimate their patients' attitudes than their male colleagues. Patients seeking care in a women's health practice differed in symptoms and concerns about the menopause compared with patients in a traditional primary care setting. Physicians' understanding of patients' menopausal concerns did not differ between the two practices. However, there may be gender differences in physicians' understanding of patients' concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1302
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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