Patient-provider communication about menopause during the clinical encounter and its affects on treatment decisions

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Northwestern team will use electronic health record (EHR) data to identify all women (age 45-60) seen in Northwestern primary care locations within the past 12 months that have a menopause-related symptom (e.g. “hot flash,” “night sweat,” “depressed mood”) recorded in their clinical notes. A de-identified dataset will be built that will include key data, including menopause duration and symptoms reported, patient characteristics (e.g. age, race, ethnicity, comorbid conditions), provider characteristics (e.g. resident vs. attending, physician vs. other health professional, provider sex), and treatment prescribed (e.g. none, hormone replacement therapy, SSRI, gabapentin). From preliminary EHR analyses, we anticipate an N of >15,000. From this dataset, we will quantitatively assess clustering of symptoms recorded and will analyze which symptoms (or symptom clusters) recorded in the clinic notes are associated with specific treatment decisions. The Northwestern team will then select a subsample of patient clinic notes (N~200) to qualitatively review and analyze. This review will assess how often a discussion of menopause treatment options was explicitly documented and whether reasons were provided for accepting/declining certain treatments. Again, analyses can examine differences by patient and provider characteristics. This analysis can also examine the nature of the specific language used to describe the menopause symptoms (e.g. what wording was used to describe affective symptoms?) and its potential for influence on or association with treatment decisions.
Effective start/end date4/19/2210/31/22


  • Pfizer Inc. (Contract ID: CP238690)


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