Developing a gender-based approach to chronic conditions and women's health: A qualitative investigation of communitydwelling women and service provider perspectives

Michelle DiGiacomo, Anna Green, Emma Rodrigues, Kathryn Mulligan, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Chronic conditions contribute to over 70 % of Australia's total disease burden, and this is set to increase to 80 % by 2020. Women's greater longevity means that they are more likely than men to live with disability and have unique health concerns related to their gender based roles in society. Cultural and social issues can impact on women's health and are important to consider in health services planning and research. In this study, we aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to providing a gender-based approach to chronic conditions and women's health in an eastern metropolitan region of Australia. Methods: Focus groups were used to engage both community-dwelling women who had chronic conditions and relevant professional stakeholders in the target area. Recorded proceedings underwent thematic analysis. Results: Five focus groups were conducted with professional stakeholders and women community members in February and March 2014. Resultant themes included: women's disempowerment through interactions with health systems; social and economic constraints and caregiving roles act to exclude women from participating in self-care and society; and empowerment can be achieved through integrated models of care that facilitate voice and enable communication and engagement. Conclusions: This study underscores the importance of including perspectives of sex and gender in health care services planning. Tailoring services to socio-demographic and cultural groups is critical in promoting access to health care services. Unique epidemiological trends, particularly the ageing of women and new migrant groups, require particular attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 21 2015

Keywords

  • Chronic disease
  • Gendered approach
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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