Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Female genital mutilation/cutting survivors’ clinical and social needs based on health care providers’ experiences: A qualitative study

Poster Number

106

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

female genital mutilation/cutting, needs, toolkit, health, women's rights

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Introduction: In the United States, there is no toolkit that assists female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) survivors address their clinical and social needs. However, health care providers (HCPs) who have served and treated patients who have undergone FGM/C are potential sources of determining FGM/C survivors’ needs. By using the HCPs’ experiences with FGM/C survivors, the study aimed to determine the FGM/C survivors’ needs and consequently what HCPs recommend should be included in the toolkit for FGM/C survivors.

Methods: The study conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 25 HCPs in the greater Washington, DC area who gave their informed consent to participate and had experience with FGM/C survivors. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. By using the analytical software QSR International NVivo, the interviews were coded and themes were developed in a grounded theoretical approach.

Results: FGM/C survivors had several clinical complications related to FGM/C including negative

mental health such as trauma, local complications such as scarring, pain associated with sex, general

discomfort, and issues with childbirth, menstruation and the urinary tract. HCPs also encountered patients who wanted to be re-infibulated after surgery and/or childbirth due to their community’s norms. FGM/C survivors that the HCPs treated did not know the consequences of FGM/C and its relation to their health status. In addition, HCPs recognized the following social needs of FGM/C survivors: employment, housing, health insurance, legal support, and social support.

Based on these identified needs, a toolkit will be developed for FGM/C survivors to use in order to improve their clinical experience and health in the greater Washington, DC area. HCPs stated that the tone and communication style of the toolkit should be noninflammatory, understanding and easy to read. Through the toolkit, FGM/C survivors should gain a better understanding of what FGM/C is, how FGM/C can affect them and what they can do to avert or address complications that arise due to FGM/C. HCPs also suggested referral lists of HCPs and social workers experienced with FGM/C, lists of FGM/C resources and support groups, and lists of questions that FGM/C survivors can ask their HCP or should anticipate from their HCP.

Conclusion: The toolkit will be a resource for FGM/C survivors and serve as a foundation for a national toolkit to be developed in the future. By empowering FGM/C survivors with the information they need, they can take control over their lives and enhance their health outcomes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Female genital mutilation/cutting survivors’ clinical and social needs based on health care providers’ experiences: A qualitative study

Introduction: In the United States, there is no toolkit that assists female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) survivors address their clinical and social needs. However, health care providers (HCPs) who have served and treated patients who have undergone FGM/C are potential sources of determining FGM/C survivors’ needs. By using the HCPs’ experiences with FGM/C survivors, the study aimed to determine the FGM/C survivors’ needs and consequently what HCPs recommend should be included in the toolkit for FGM/C survivors.

Methods: The study conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 25 HCPs in the greater Washington, DC area who gave their informed consent to participate and had experience with FGM/C survivors. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. By using the analytical software QSR International NVivo, the interviews were coded and themes were developed in a grounded theoretical approach.

Results: FGM/C survivors had several clinical complications related to FGM/C including negative

mental health such as trauma, local complications such as scarring, pain associated with sex, general

discomfort, and issues with childbirth, menstruation and the urinary tract. HCPs also encountered patients who wanted to be re-infibulated after surgery and/or childbirth due to their community’s norms. FGM/C survivors that the HCPs treated did not know the consequences of FGM/C and its relation to their health status. In addition, HCPs recognized the following social needs of FGM/C survivors: employment, housing, health insurance, legal support, and social support.

Based on these identified needs, a toolkit will be developed for FGM/C survivors to use in order to improve their clinical experience and health in the greater Washington, DC area. HCPs stated that the tone and communication style of the toolkit should be noninflammatory, understanding and easy to read. Through the toolkit, FGM/C survivors should gain a better understanding of what FGM/C is, how FGM/C can affect them and what they can do to avert or address complications that arise due to FGM/C. HCPs also suggested referral lists of HCPs and social workers experienced with FGM/C, lists of FGM/C resources and support groups, and lists of questions that FGM/C survivors can ask their HCP or should anticipate from their HCP.

Conclusion: The toolkit will be a resource for FGM/C survivors and serve as a foundation for a national toolkit to be developed in the future. By empowering FGM/C survivors with the information they need, they can take control over their lives and enhance their health outcomes.