Background: Prior research has explored women's lifetime receipt of HRT counseling and correlates of counseling, but has not explored receipt of counseling by current health care provider(s). The number and type(s) of provider(s) that women see for their regular care may be an important enabling factor in women's receipt of HRT counseling.
Objectives: Whether there is an association between the number and specialties of physicians that women use for regular care and their receipt of HRT counseling by a current regular physician is explored.
Research design: A self-administered mail survey was sent to 1,500 female members (ages 40-69) of a Connecticut IPA-model health plan.
Results: One thousand seven completed questionnaires were received (response rate = 69%). Twenty-eight percent of women reported seeing only a family practitioner or internist (no OB/GYN) for their regular care; 11% saw an OB/GYN only; and 59% saw both a family practitioner/internist and an OB/GYN. After adjustment for women's other predisposing and enabling characteristics, women who used both a family practitioner/internist and an OB/GYN were 3.1 times as likely (95% CI, 2.02, 4.66) as those seeing only a family practitioner/internist to have been counseled about HRT by a current provider, and those using only an OB/GYN were 2.5 times as likely (95% CI, 1.34, 4.61).
Conclusions: The number and specialty of physician(s) that women use for their regular care is an important enabling factor in women's receipt of HRT counseling. Changes in the organization and delivery of women's primary care may help increase the receipt of female-specific clinical preventive services, particularly among women less likely to use an OB/GYN for regular care, such as low-income and older women.