To investigate Nova Scotia (NS) pharmacists' knowledge and beliefs
regarding the use of bioidentical hormones (BHs) for the management of
menopause related symptoms.
Using Dillman’s tailored design methodology, an invitation to complete the
web-based questionnaire was emailed to pharmacists in NS as part of the
Dalhousie College of Pharmacy Continuing Pharmacy Education
Department's (CPE) weekly email update. Data was analyzed using
Of approximately 1300 e-mails sent, 113 pharmacists completed the
questionnaire (response rate 8.7%). The majority of respondents (94%) knew
that BHs were not free from adverse drug reactions. More than 50% were aware
that conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate were not
examples of BHs. For seven of eleven knowledge questions, 33-45% indicated
that they did not know the answer. When asked about their beliefs regarding
BHs, many believed that BHs were similar in efficacy (49%) or more effective
(21%) than conventional hormone therapy (CHT) for vasomotor symptoms. Most
respondents also believed that both BHs and CHT had similar safety profiles.
Additionally, responding pharmacists indicated that more education would be
helpful, especially in the area of safety and efficacy of BHTs compared to
NS pharmacists knew BHs were not free of adverse effects, however knowledge
was lacking in other areas. This may reflect the level of coverage of this
topic in pharmacy school curriculums and in the pharmacy literature. Results
indicate a need for additional education of NS pharmacists with respect to
BHs, which could be accomplished through modification of undergraduate
pharmacy programs and supplementary CPE.