Reproductive and sexual health care needs of women with intellectual disabilities
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Women with intellectual disabilities (ID) have documented health disparities in multiple areas, including oral health, health promotion and education uptake, cancer screenings, primary care and mental health, as well disparities in research participation. Women with ID also face significant disparities in reproductive and sexual health care access, though there is a paucity of literature regarding what constitutes effective reproductive and sexual health care for this population. Women with ID are often not asked about sexual health care needs in primary care. In addition, we know that in general, primary care physicians receive inadequate training in caring for individuals with ID, which may be a factor in the unmet sexual health care needs of this population. This poster will review sexual health care needs of women with ID, including sex education, STI information and screening, screening for sexual abuse and abuse prevention education, contraception, HPV testing/Pap testing, support for decision making around planning or preventing a pregnancy, evaluation and treatment of menstrual health and counseling regarding appropriate consensual sexuality. We will then outline practical recommendations for primary care providers, health care and social service agencies and supporters for increasing access to and quality of sexual health care services for women with ID. We will provide tips for talking to women with ID about sexual health, asking about sexual activity, contraceptive needs and reproductive health, providing cancer and STI screenings and health education, and assessing for abuse, in order to reduce disparities in sexual health care access.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Basic medical science applied in public health
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Define the disparities in sexual and reproductive health care access facing women with intellectual disabilities
Describe 3 barriers to reproductive health care for women with intellectual disabilities
Describe 2 strategies for increasing access to sexual and reproductive health care access for women with intellectual disabilities
Keyword(s): Access and Services, Disability
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student/early career researcher with a strong interest in disability and thesis work in women's health for women with intellectual disabilities, where I acted as PI with mentorship. I am a certified professional midwife with extensive experience in providing sexual and reproductive health care to underserved populations, including those with disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.