Research into Women's Health and Care Disparities

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Women's Health Care".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 3140

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Health Sciences, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Interests: maternal and child health; physical activity; environmental health; health promotion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of our scientific journal delves into the persistent and complex problem of women's health and care disparities. Despite global efforts, considerable disparities in healthcare access, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes exist between genders. These disparities further intersect with identities such as race, age, socioeconomic status, and disability, thereby creating intricate patterns of health inequalities. Our goal is to enhance our understanding of these disparities, inform policies, and improve health outcomes for women.

We aim to probe the gender-based differences and disparities among women, emphasizing epidemiological studies highlighting discrepancies in healthcare services' access, diagnosis, and treatment. We are interested in contributions that deepen our understanding of disparities' causes and provide solutions.

This Special Issue is a platform to stimulate vital discussions on women's health and care disparities, focusing on contributing factors and potential remedies. Our investigation will cover areas such as differential access to healthcare, variations in health outcomes, intersectionality, impacts of societal and cultural norms, and the role of policy.

We eagerly await your submissions in these crucial areas, contributing to the field of women's health disparities. We welcome original research papers, reviews, case reports, methodological papers, brief reports, and commentaries that explore the following areas:

  1. Epidemiological Studies and Mechanisms: Investigations into gender-based disparities in diagnosis, treatment, health outcomes, and the underlying mechanisms leading to these disparities.
  2. Intersectionality and Health Disparities: Analyses of intersectional effects of race, age, socioeconomic status, and disability on women's health outcomes and access to care.
  3. Culturally Informed Approaches and Policies: Studies exploring culturally informed approaches and policy interventions for addressing disparities in women's health.
  4. Societal Factors and Case Studies: Examination of societal, policy, and cultural influences on women's health disparities, with case studies demonstrating successful mitigation efforts.
  5. Disparity Variations and Innovative Interventions: Discussions on variations in disparities influenced by socioeconomic and demographic factors, alongside innovative strategies promising in disparity reduction.
  6. Role of Technology in Women's Healthcare: Assessments of the influence of technology and digitalization in either exacerbating or mitigating disparities in women's healthcare.
  7. Psychosocial Variables and Specific Health Conditions: Evaluations of psychosocial factors impacting women's health behaviors and effects of specific health conditions on women's health outcomes.
  8. Health Promotion Behaviors: Investigations into health promotion behaviors among diverse ethnic/racial women, including motivating factors for physical activity and weight management.
  9. Barriers in Medical Research: Exploration of challenges hampering progress in women's health research, especially among minority women.
  10. Comparative Studies and Intervention Effectiveness: Comparative studies examining health disparities among different demographic groups and evaluations of intervention effectiveness in promoting health behaviors among low-income women.

While these themes serve as a guide, they are not exhaustive. We are open to contributions exploring under-discussed or overlooked areas pertinent to our topic. We aim to compile a robust collection of work that can steer future research, policy, and practice toward improved health equity in women's healthcare.

Dr. Ines Aguinaga-Ontoso
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • women's health
  • care disparities
  • gender disparities
  • health equity
  • intersectionality
  • access to healthcare
  • diagnosis and treatment patterns
  • health outcomes

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 783 KiB  
Article
Community-Based Health Education Led by Women’s Groups Significantly Improved Maternal Health Service Utilization in Southern Ethiopia: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
by Amanuel Yoseph, Wondwosen Teklesilasie, Francisco Guillen-Grima and Ayalew Astatkie
Healthcare 2024, 12(10), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12101045 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of health education intervention (HEI) on maternal health service utilization (MHSU) in southern Ethiopia. Methods: From 10 January to 1 August 2023, a community-based, two-arm, parallel-group cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) was conducted among pregnant [...] Read more.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of health education intervention (HEI) on maternal health service utilization (MHSU) in southern Ethiopia. Methods: From 10 January to 1 August 2023, a community-based, two-arm, parallel-group cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) was conducted among pregnant mothers in the Northern Zone of Sidama National Regional State, Ethiopia. We utilized multilevel mixed-effects modified Poisson regression with robust variance to control for the effects of clustering and potential confounders. The level of significance was adjusted for multiple comparisons. Results: The overall utilization of at least one antenatal care (ANC) visit was 90.2% in the treatment group and 59.5% in the comparator group (χ2 = 89.22, p < 0.001). Health facility delivery (HFD) utilization was considerably different between the treatment group (74.3%) and the comparator group (50.8%) (χ2 = 70.50, p < 0.001). HEI significantly increased ANC utilization (adjusted risk ratio [ARR]: 1.32; 99% CI: 1.12–1.56) and HFD utilization (ARR: 1.24; 99% CI: 1.06–1.46). The utilization of at least one postnatal care (PNC) service was 65.4% in the treatment group and 52.1% in the comparator group (χ2 = 19.51, p = 0.01). However, after controlling for the effects of confounders and clustering, the impact of HEI on PNC utilization was insignificant between the two groups (ARR: 1.15; 99% CI: 0.89–1.48). Conclusion: A community-based HEI significantly increased ANC and HFD utilization but did not increase PNC utilization. Expanding the HEI with certain modifications will have a superior effect on improving MHSU. Trial registration number: NCT05865873. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research into Women's Health and Care Disparities)
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11 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Differing Effects of Body Size on Circulating Lipid Concentrations and Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Young and Middle-Aged Japanese Women
by Katsumi Iizuka, Kazuko Kobae, Kotone Yanagi, Yoshiko Yamada, Kanako Deguchi, Chihiro Ushiroda, Yusuke Seino, Atsushi Suzuki, Eiichi Saitoh and Hiroyuki Naruse
Healthcare 2024, 12(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12040465 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 801
Abstract
The condition of being underweight is a social problem in Japan among women. However, there is a lack of evidence for dietary guidance for underweight women because there has been no comparison of lipids or HbA1c among underweight, normal weight, and overweight women [...] Read more.
The condition of being underweight is a social problem in Japan among women. However, there is a lack of evidence for dietary guidance for underweight women because there has been no comparison of lipids or HbA1c among underweight, normal weight, and overweight women in different age groups. We analyzed the effect of body size and age on the serum lipid and hemoglobin A1c levels in Japanese women in a cross-sectional study. A total of 26,118 women aged >20–65 years underwent physical examinations between 2012 and 2022. Seventeen percent of women aged >20–29 years were underweight, and 8% of those aged 50–65 years were underweight. Total cholesterol and non-HDL-C concentrations increased with age, but the difference between underweight and overweight individuals was lowest among women aged 50–65 years. On the other hand, the differences in HDL-C, TG, and HbA1c levels between underweight and overweight subjects were greatest in the 50–65 age group, but the differences between underweight and normal weight subjects were much smaller. Considering that, unlike HDL-C, TG, and HbA1c, TC and non-HDL-C increase to levels comparable to overweight levels in underweight women in aged 50–65 years, educating people about a diet that lowers non-HDL-C is necessary even in young underweight women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research into Women's Health and Care Disparities)
14 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Women’s Narratives on Infertility as a Traumatic Event: An Exploration of Emotional Processing through the Referential Activity Linguistic Program
by Alessia Renzi, Rachele Mariani, Fabiola Fedele, Vito Giuseppe Maniaci, Elena Petrovska, Renzo D’Amelio, Giuliana Mazzoni and Michela Di Trani
Healthcare 2023, 11(22), 2919; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11222919 - 7 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Background: the diagnosis of infertility and its related treatment can be traumatic, leading to profound psychological distress and a variety of psychopathological symptoms. The primary objective of this study is to contrast the linguistic features of narratives from women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Treatment [...] Read more.
Background: the diagnosis of infertility and its related treatment can be traumatic, leading to profound psychological distress and a variety of psychopathological symptoms. The primary objective of this study is to contrast the linguistic features of narratives from women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Treatment with those of women not undergoing any fertility treatment. This study examines the speech of both groups of individuals as an indicator of their capacity to cope with current and past distressing experiences. Method: 44 women (mean age 36.05; SD = 4.66) enrolled in a fertility medical center in Rome, and 43 control women (mean age 36.07; SD = 3.47) completed a socio-demographic questionnaire and a semi-structured interview designed to collect their memories of a neutral, a positive, and a negative event. This interview also aimed to investigate: (a) (for women with fertility difficulties) how they realized they and their partner had fertility problems and a description of an event when they talked about these difficulties with their partner; and (b) (for control group participants) the most difficult moment of their pregnancy and an event when they talked about it with their partner. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed, and the text was analyzed using the referential process (RP) linguistic measures software. Results: Mann–Whitney non-parametric U tests for the independent samples showed several significant differences regarding the linguistic measures applied to the narratives of neutral, positive, negative, and difficult experiences in the form of a linguistic style, with more intellectualization and defenses in all the narratives associated with the women with fertility problems compared to the women in the control group. Conclusions: the traumatic and painful experience of infertility and ART seems to characterize the whole mode of narrating life experiences. Present findings sustain the importance of helping women to elaborate on their experience and to understand and recognize the difficult feelings that are activated in relation to the difficulties of having a child. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research into Women's Health and Care Disparities)
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