Project Title

Healthcare Discrimination in Gender and Ethnically Diverse Individuals Living with PCOS

Authors' Affiliations

Carmen Terrell, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Myra Meade, Microbiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Kelsey Braun M.A., Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Stacy L. Williams Ph.D, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Culp Ballroom

Start Date

4-7-2022 9:00 AM

End Date

4-7-2022 12:00 PM

Poster Number

129

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Psychology

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Stacey Williams

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Competition Type

Competitive

Type

Poster Presentation

Project's Category

Psychology

Abstract or Artist's Statement

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder in women, transmen, and non-binary individuals. Approximately 1 in 10 born with ovaries suffer from PCOS. This prevalence is likely an underestimate due to underdiagnosis stemming from lack of knowledge among healthcare providers. Additionally, those diagnosed with PCOS report dissatisfaction with healthcare due to dismissive encounters fraught weight bias, lack of cultural competence, and assumption of gender. This dissatisfaction might be more intense in diverse individuals with PCOS who, due to their marginalized identities, are already at increased risk for discrimination in the healthcare setting. Individuals who are gender and/or ethnically diverse (e.g., transmasculine, nonbinary, women of color) do not receive proper treatment in the healthcare system. Yet, no prior studies have examined the healthcare discrimination experiences of diverse individuals living with PCOS. Gender and racial/ethnically diverse individuals with PCOS likely experience healthcare discrimination. Moreover, PCOS is known as a disorder in women; trans masculine and nonbinary identified individuals do not identify as women and may encounter increased discrimination in the healthcare setting. This study sought to understand the discriminatory experiences in the healthcare setting experienced by a diverse sample of individuals living with PCOS. We examined healthcare discrimination in a gender (48% cisgender women, 52% gender diverse) and ethnically diverse (46% white non-Hispanic, 54% ethnically diverse) sample of individuals living with PCOS. Ages ranged from 19-46, with an average age of 29 (SD = 6.49). Individuals initially completed a qualitative interview by phone and were subsequently invited to participate in an online survey. Of the original 50 individuals living with PCOS, 46 completed the online survey through Redcap, answering questions about discrimination in healthcare. We measured discrimination in healthcare with five items that assessed differential treatment attributable to transgender identity reflecting denial of service, having to educate providers, and delaying treatment. Three additional items assessed general discrimination including perceived attribution. Results of frequency analyses for individuals with PCOS revealed that, of the whole sample, 50% (n = 23) had experienced discrimination in the healthcare setting attributable primarily to either race/ethnicity or gender identity. Specifically, among those who identified as gender diverse, 46.2% had been denied equal treatment in a doctor’s office, 8% had been denied equal treatment in emergency setting, 76.9% had postponed check-ups or preventative care because of discrimination, 57.7% had postponed seeking care when sick or injured, and 69.2% had to teach their own providers about gender identity issues in order to receive proper healthcare. Finally, for individuals in the sample identifying as racial/ethnic minority, 46.4% stated they would have gotten better medical care if they had been part of a different racial or ethnic group. These results indicate healthcare discrimination among individuals living with PCOS is quite prevalent. Discrimination occurred mostly in relation to diverse gender and racial/ethnic identity. Findings indicated individuals postponed seeking healthcare due to discrimination. Future studies should examine the long-term implications of discrimination and avoidance of care. As well, interventions are needed to reduce the racism and gender discrimination in healthcare.

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Apr 7th, 9:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 PM

Healthcare Discrimination in Gender and Ethnically Diverse Individuals Living with PCOS

Culp Ballroom

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder in women, transmen, and non-binary individuals. Approximately 1 in 10 born with ovaries suffer from PCOS. This prevalence is likely an underestimate due to underdiagnosis stemming from lack of knowledge among healthcare providers. Additionally, those diagnosed with PCOS report dissatisfaction with healthcare due to dismissive encounters fraught weight bias, lack of cultural competence, and assumption of gender. This dissatisfaction might be more intense in diverse individuals with PCOS who, due to their marginalized identities, are already at increased risk for discrimination in the healthcare setting. Individuals who are gender and/or ethnically diverse (e.g., transmasculine, nonbinary, women of color) do not receive proper treatment in the healthcare system. Yet, no prior studies have examined the healthcare discrimination experiences of diverse individuals living with PCOS. Gender and racial/ethnically diverse individuals with PCOS likely experience healthcare discrimination. Moreover, PCOS is known as a disorder in women; trans masculine and nonbinary identified individuals do not identify as women and may encounter increased discrimination in the healthcare setting. This study sought to understand the discriminatory experiences in the healthcare setting experienced by a diverse sample of individuals living with PCOS. We examined healthcare discrimination in a gender (48% cisgender women, 52% gender diverse) and ethnically diverse (46% white non-Hispanic, 54% ethnically diverse) sample of individuals living with PCOS. Ages ranged from 19-46, with an average age of 29 (SD = 6.49). Individuals initially completed a qualitative interview by phone and were subsequently invited to participate in an online survey. Of the original 50 individuals living with PCOS, 46 completed the online survey through Redcap, answering questions about discrimination in healthcare. We measured discrimination in healthcare with five items that assessed differential treatment attributable to transgender identity reflecting denial of service, having to educate providers, and delaying treatment. Three additional items assessed general discrimination including perceived attribution. Results of frequency analyses for individuals with PCOS revealed that, of the whole sample, 50% (n = 23) had experienced discrimination in the healthcare setting attributable primarily to either race/ethnicity or gender identity. Specifically, among those who identified as gender diverse, 46.2% had been denied equal treatment in a doctor’s office, 8% had been denied equal treatment in emergency setting, 76.9% had postponed check-ups or preventative care because of discrimination, 57.7% had postponed seeking care when sick or injured, and 69.2% had to teach their own providers about gender identity issues in order to receive proper healthcare. Finally, for individuals in the sample identifying as racial/ethnic minority, 46.4% stated they would have gotten better medical care if they had been part of a different racial or ethnic group. These results indicate healthcare discrimination among individuals living with PCOS is quite prevalent. Discrimination occurred mostly in relation to diverse gender and racial/ethnic identity. Findings indicated individuals postponed seeking healthcare due to discrimination. Future studies should examine the long-term implications of discrimination and avoidance of care. As well, interventions are needed to reduce the racism and gender discrimination in healthcare.