Using health literacy best practice to educate, motivate and empower

Case Studies / Patient Activation

Encouraging women to talk to their HCP about menopause.


Menopause is associated with a number of physical and emotional symptoms, which can impact women’s health and quality of life. Nearly 80% of post-menopausal women experience hot flushes or night sweating1 and about 39% of women also experience depression2 with an increase in anxiety, disturbed sleep, and sexual problems also symptoms.3

Despite the prevalence, patient provider communication is often limited with evidence suggesting that approximately one-third to one-half of symptomatic women do not have a discussion about menopause symptoms with their healthcare provider.4


At Studio Health we used our expertise to address many of the noted barriers to effective patient-provider communication on menopause through the creation of two tangible, targeted, health literacy-appropriate materials: a Menopause Discussion Guide and Action Plan, and a Glossary of Terms related to menopause. These materials were designed to educate, motivate and empower women and providers to discuss menopause symptoms, symptom management, and treatment options during time-limited clinic visits.

In accordance with health literacy best practices, the Guide and Glossary were systematically reviewed and revised by the target audience in an iterative, pre-testing process.


The creation of user-led tools for women to promote better patient-provider communication on the menopause and to empower women to become more aware of menopause symptoms and treatment options. In this first phase of the project, participants in the testing process were receptive to the need for such information materials, and also provided face validation of the existing format and content with specific constructive critiques.

The Guide and Glossary were considered to be widely disseminatable, and highly scalable tools to address deficits in menopause counselling and improve women’s confidence to discuss problematic menopause symptoms with their healthcare provider.

  1. Portman, Gass, & Vulvovaginal Atrophy Terminology Consensus Conference, 2014; Woods & Mitchell, 2005 ↩︎

  2. Marsh et al., 2017 ↩︎

  3. Prairie et al., 2015; Schnatz, Whitehurst, & O’Sullivan, 2010; Seritan et al., 2010 ↩︎

  4. Kingsberg, Wysocki, Magnus, & Krychman, 2013; Krychman, Graham, Bernick, Mirkin, & Kingsberg, 2017 ↩︎