Patterns of primary healthcare use among female exotic dancers in Baltimore, Maryland

Natalie L. Flath, Meredith Reilly Brantley, Wendy W. Davis, Sahnah Lim, Susan G. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Female exotic dancers (FEDs) are often exposed to violence-, sex- and drug-related occupational harms and are precluded from employer-based health insurance. We examined access to primary health-care resources, correlates of use, and service needs among a sample of new FEDs (N = 117) working in 22 exotic dance clubs (EDCs) in Baltimore, MD. Self-administered surveys were completed between May and October 2014. Health care measures were aggregated and described, and correlates of use were evaluated using Fisher Exact and Poisson regression with robust variance, adjusting for race/ethnicity. The majority of dancers reported having health insurance (80%), a primary care provider (PCP) (68%), and having visited a PCP (74%). Among dancers with insurance, all were covered by Medicaid. Multivariable regression models demonstrated that having a regular PCP was associated with recent PCP use (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.5; 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.1). Despite a high level of health-care coverage and recent visits to PCP, dancers frequently sought services at the emergency department and reported needs for medical care, including mental health support services and drug treatment. Findings highlight that basic access to primary health care is available and used but may not be fully meeting dancers’ complex needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-346
Number of pages13
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2019


  • Female exotic dancers
  • health services availability
  • occupational health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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