Hormone replacement therapy: knowledge, attitudes, and weil-being among middle-aged australian women Academic Article uri icon


  • Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is increasing, yet little is known of women's perceptions of HRT. A telephone survey examined relevant knowledge and attitudes, and psychological well-being, in 258 women aged 51 to 60 (111 HRT users, 47 previous users, and 100 never-users). Although HRT users were better informed than nonusers, knowledge was generally low. Half the HRT users could not name any hormone used in HRT, and one third could not give any reason for using HRT. Current users, however, had more positive attitudes to HRT. Groups defined by HRT usage did not differ on well-being or current symptomatology, although current and previous HRT users reported having previously experienced a higher level of symptomatology than never-users, suggesting that HRT may have provided symptom relief for those women who chose to use it. In contrast to previous research, women with a history of hysterectomy did not show more emotional distress than others. Results suggest that Australian women frequently make choices concerning HRT without adequate knowledge, and that HRT may reduce symptoms but may have little impact on psychological well-being. Optimal usage of HRT by middle-aged women will rely on a clearer understanding, both of its effects and of women's attitudes toward its use.

publication date

  • September 1996