Press coverage of hormone replacement therapy and menopause

Cinzia Colombo, Paola Mosconi, Maria Grazia Buratti, Alessandro Liberati, Serena Donati, Alfonso Mele, Roberto Satolli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the information reported by Italian press articles about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and menopause, in terms of completeness, clarity of language and transparency. Study design: In the framework of the Consensus Conference Informing women about hormone replacement therapy, 225 articles published from 2000 to 2007 in Italian lay press were evaluated. Health magazines, weekly news magazines, newspapers, women's magazines and medical practitioners' journals were selected. A form covering graphic layout, completeness of information, clarity of language and transparency was applied to each article by a reviewer. The form was tested in a pilot phase. Results: HRT was recommended to treat menopausal symptoms in more than half of articles (56%) and was described as a preventive measure in almost half (48%). Risks related to HRT were under-reported (58% of the articles). Information on conflicts of interest was lacking (88%). Opinions of experts were the main source of information cited in the articles (66%). Conclusions: The information reported by the articles is lacking in several aspects. Many women are likely to receive unbalanced information from the press. Qualified sources of information delivered on the scientific knowledge available are needed, reporting advantages and disadvantages of HRT, pharmacological and non-pharmacological alternative treatments and their effectiveness. Scientific journalism needs to grow through training. The role of researchers and clinicians is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-61
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Volume153
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Informed decision making
  • Menopause
  • Press coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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