By means of a simple postal questionnaire, all women registered as hormone therapy patients (n = 241) at a gynaecological clinic were screened for reasons for receiving hormone therapy. They were also screened for their compliance in following the midwife's advice and information, as well as the gynaecologist's prescriptions. The majority of the women participating in this study contacted the clinic for climacteric symptoms. The time duration for using hormone therapy ranged from 1 month to 6 years. Those using a plaster or gel were asked why they should take progesterone pills. Forty per cent gave erroneous answers or did not know. Of these, 62% reported that they understood the oral information, whereas 60% reported that they understood the written information. Fifty-three per cent of the women stated that they would stop their hormone therapy if they did not feel well or increased in weight. New discoveries or information about benefits or risks were given by 22% as reasons affecting their decision. Compliance demands well-motivated and well-informed patients. The implication of the study result for practice is that there must be dialogue between the women and their midwife/ gynaecologist. It is important that the women feel they are receiving treatment which they have given their consent to, and that they feel and know that they are performing self-care. Midwives have recurrent contact with women during their life and have already established a relationship with them, which facilitates an individualized communication.