The woman, patient after WHI

Graziottin A.
The woman, patient after WHI
Maturitas. 2005 May 16; 51 (1): 29-37


An epidemic of fear and distrust has infected women (and physicians) after publication of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The overinflated negative data emerging from the oestroprogestinic arm of WHI have frightened women and given rise to the most difficult emotions to cope with. Keywords such as cancer, death and hormones, combined together, have potentiated an avoidant attitude towards hormonal therapy (HT) driven more emotionally than rationally.
This paper will discuss:
- women’s different emotional reactions to and coping strategies for HT-related fear after WHI;
- the communication skills physicians should use in focusing on positive messages emerging from WHI;
- predictors of current HT use;
- the meaning of the higher use of HT in postmenopausal highly-educated women and women gynaecologists;
- the importance of increasing healthy life-styles as a taking of responsibility towards aging by every woman;
- shifting from passivity to active sharing of the decision making process with the caring physician;
- and the use of an individually tailored HT, when appropriate, as part of an active strategy in the pursuit of a longer health expectancy.


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