Patients' preferences and general practitioners' decisions in the treatment of menstrual disorders.
Coulter A., Peto V., Doll H.
The aim of this study was to investigate the treatment preferences of patients consulting their general practitioners (GPs) for heavy menstrual bleeding and the influence of these preferences and other factors on GPs' management decisions. One-hundred and twenty-nine GPs recruited 483 eligible patients into the study, of whom 425 (88.0%) returned completed questionnaires. 35.6% of patients indicated that they had a strong treatment preference. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the strongest independent predictors of the likelihood of having a treatment preference were higher education and previous consultations for gynaecological problems. Among those who expressed a preference for either drug therapy or surgery, those with severe symptoms and those who had not received higher education were more likely to prefer surgical treatment. The likelihood of referral was related to a preference for surgery, as expressed by the patient and as perceived by the GP. Patients were much more likely to be referred to a gynaecologist if they had a history of prior surgery (odds ratio 3.21) and if their GP was male (odds ratio 1.76).