Hormones during the menopause: a consensus conference gets underway, promoted by PartecipaSalute

What do menopausal women need to know about hormone replacement therapy? Providing answers through a Consensus Conference

 in Italian 

The PartecipaSalute project is coordinated by the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, in partnership with the Italian Cochrane Centre and the Zadig Scientific Journalism Agency. The project, together with the National Guidelines System from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health), is promoting a Consensus Conference entitled What do menopausal women need to know about hormone replacement therapy?

In recent years, major international clinical studies have been carried out on hormone replacement therapy (the administration of hormones which, in menopause, are no longer produced by the ovaries in the same way as before). In Italy, the publication and analysis of their results has generated a wide range of opinions and advice from various institutions or scientific societies. These are often at odds with each other and sometimes contradict the data in the literature. Citizens’ and patients’ associations and groups organised to promote women’s health have also produced informative materials which often put out messages that go against the available knowledge.

It is therefore conceivable that individual women are now receiving conflicting information on the risks and benefits of HRT, both from discussions with their GPs and various specialists and from information given through the media. This can make it difficult for them to exercise their right to make conscious choices about their health.

The method of consensus conference (pdf of protocol) has been chosen as a way to take stock of the available scientific proof on the use of hormone replacement therapy, to understand what information women need, and to evaluate the quality of the information aimed at the female population and at doctors. Indeed, where there are controversial areas of medical knowledge, this method makes it possible to gather data from work groups from different areas; a multidisciplinary jury then assesses the various articles prepared, so that the conference is able to issue several recommendations that are the result of the consensus of the members of the jury.

For this Consensus Conference three workgroups consisting respectively of clinicians, journalists and citizens’ representatives, will shed light on the available knowledge and information; in addition, a specially designed survey will provide data on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of a sample of Italian women aged between 45 and 60.

The jury will have to answer a series of questions (pdf themes and questions for the Consensus conference) that will allow the Consensus Conference to reach its objective, and give an indication of what information is useful, opportune and necessary for women with regard to hormone replacement therapy.

A Notification of interest (pdf) has been set up in order to gather information, experiences and contributions from those who work with hormone replacement therapy and with the menopause and women’s health in general. The invitation to submit contributions is aimed at:

  • Scientific societies and associations;
  • Hospitals;
  • Institutions and regional or national agencies in the health service;
  • Public and private research institutes;
  • Women’s health organisations;
  • Patients’ and consumers’ associations;
  • Pharmaceutical companies and companies producing herbalist, homeopathic and naturalist products which have an interest in hormone replacement therapy, treatments for the menopause and preventive intervention for conditions of risk for menopausal women.

The subject matter of the Consensus Conference is important as it concerns the health of many women, and the method followed is innovative due to the way it has been developed by the organising committee. This means that the event will be of interest to anyone who deals with health, with awareness in healthcare choices, with information and how that which published in the press and elsewhere may influence public opinion and the behaviour of citizens.

The Consensus Conference will be held on May 16th and 17th 2008. During these two days, the findings of the three work groups will be presented, and there will be plenty of time set aside for discussion.

The project has received backing from the non-profit organisation Compagnia di San Paolo di Torino.




Coordination Centre
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
Ms. Gianna Costa, costa@marionegri.it, telephone +39 02-39014503

Inserito da redazione il Gio, 20/09/2007 - 15:48