Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Meyer, Kimberley


Background: Every woman will experience menopause, however each woman’s experience is individual and has varying degrees of symptoms. As a woman ages estrogen production declines and eventually ceases. Hormone replacement therapy has been used for menopausal symptom management and for other conditions associated with declining estrogen. Information regarding hormone replacement therapy is conflicting and confusing. Evidence exists regarding safety and efficacy of hormone replacement therapy. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review of the literature is to answer the practice questions of: What are the current best practices around hormone therapy use for menopausal and postmenopausal women? What is the current evidence regarding safety and efficacy of hormone therapy? The Theory of Symptom Self-Management provides the framework to partner with women to empower them to set individual health goals, to be able to make informed choices regarding the use of hormone replacement therapy, and self-manage their symptoms safely and effectively. Results: Twenty-three articles were identified and evaluated for hormone replacement therapy evidence. The evidence is confusing and can be conflicting due to the many forms of hormone therapy, timing of treatment, length of treatment, and the misleading and unsupported endorsements. Hormone therapy can be used for treatment of menopausal symptoms for women as they transition into menopause. Hormone therapy has been shown to reduce cortical bone loss. However, in any case or any form, hormone therapy should be prescribed at the lowest dose for the shortest duration period possible. Use of hormone therapy increases a woman’s risk for cardiovascular disease, thrombolytic events, cognitive decline, and breast cancer. Conclusion: The review of the literature supports the evidence that hormone therapy can be used for short duration to treat symptoms of menopause. Every woman seeking information regarding menopause and hormone replacement therapy should have a discussion with their provider care team to become informed about risk versus benefit of use and alternatives. Long term patient safety and a healthy life style should be emphasized. Implications for Research and Practice: Providers and nurses need to be well informed about the different forms of hormone therapy and evidence surrounding the practice. Women’s voices need to be heard and their symptoms affirmed. The Theory of Symptom Self-Management can be the framework for providers and nurses to partner with their patients and empower them to set healthy goals to safely manage their symptoms.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons