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Eliminating Health Disparities in the USVI: Encouraging Women with Disabilities to Take Control of their Health Rashida Francis Research Scholar Caribbean.

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Presentation on theme: "Eliminating Health Disparities in the USVI: Encouraging Women with Disabilities to Take Control of their Health Rashida Francis Research Scholar Caribbean."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eliminating Health Disparities in the USVI: Encouraging Women with Disabilities to Take Control of their Health Rashida Francis Research Scholar Caribbean Exploratory MCMHD Research Center University of the Virgin Islands (Grant #P20MD00286)

2 Introduction I gained interest in this topic as a research piece after hosting a health fair for women with disabilities on the island of St. Thomas. While organizing the fair, I found:I gained interest in this topic as a research piece after hosting a health fair for women with disabilities on the island of St. Thomas. While organizing the fair, I found: Lack of understanding regarding how to provide accommodations for people with disabilitiesLack of understanding regarding how to provide accommodations for people with disabilities Lack of understanding regarding how to give presentations to people with disabilities Lack of understanding regarding how to give presentations to people with disabilities Little interest among advocacy groups for supporting this type of activityLittle interest among advocacy groups for supporting this type of activity Interest in information regarding health, beauty and well-being people among persons with disabilities.Interest in information regarding health, beauty and well-being people among persons with disabilities.

3 Literature Review Persons with disabilities face many barriers that limit their access to healthcare services (Thierry, 1988), (Krahn, Hammond, & Turner, 2006). These include :Persons with disabilities face many barriers that limit their access to healthcare services (Thierry, 1988), (Krahn, Hammond, & Turner, 2006). These include : –physical, attitudinal and policy barriers –lack of information about how disability affects health –limited finances and insufficient personal assistance –inaccessible equipment in doctors offices –misconceptions regarding sexuality and reproductive health needs –the need for more rehabilitation services for longer periods

4 Autism Spectrum Disorder Intellectual Disability Traumatic Brain Injury Speech and Language Impairment Emotional Behavior Disturbance Specific Learning Disability Other Health Impairment Visual Impairment Hearing Impairment Orthopedic Impairment Developmental Disabilities (IDEA 2004) Framework

5 Literature Review Office on Disability and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - women with disabilities are at greater risk for health problems than men with disabilities and non-disabled women. (Thierry, 1998)Office on Disability and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - women with disabilities are at greater risk for health problems than men with disabilities and non-disabled women. (Thierry, 1998) Healthy People (Goal #2 Focus Area #6)focuses on preventing secondary conditions in people with disabilities.Healthy People (Goal #2 Focus Area #6)focuses on preventing secondary conditions in people with disabilities. A person disable person with limited cognition or impaired verbal communication, is less likely to receive adequate preventive health care (Krahn, Hammond, & Turner 2006).A person disable person with limited cognition or impaired verbal communication, is less likely to receive adequate preventive health care (Krahn, Hammond, & Turner 2006). The focus of health promotion and prevention targeting people with disabilities has been directed at the primary prevention of disability rather than the prevention or reduction of secondary health conditions. (Rimmer,2009)The focus of health promotion and prevention targeting people with disabilities has been directed at the primary prevention of disability rather than the prevention or reduction of secondary health conditions. (Rimmer,2009)

6 Purpose In the Virgin Islands, women with developmental disabilities face many challenges when it comes to finding and receiving quality healthcare.In the Virgin Islands, women with developmental disabilities face many challenges when it comes to finding and receiving quality healthcare. The purpose of this study is to determine whether women who are identified as having developmental disabilities are receiving adequate preventive health care.The purpose of this study is to determine whether women who are identified as having developmental disabilities are receiving adequate preventive health care. Research Question To what extent do adult women (ages 18 and older) with a developmental disability living in the USVI meet national guidelines for screening, tests and immunizations.To what extent do adult women (ages 18 and older) with a developmental disability living in the USVI meet national guidelines for screening, tests and immunizations.

7 Methodolo gy The proposed study will combine qualitative and quantitative research methods to describe the extent to which women with a developmental disability living in the USVI meet national guidelines for screening, tests and immunizations. Participants in this study will include fifty women with developmental disabilities, ages 18 and older living, on the islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Women participating in this study will be categorized by their developmental disability and then their age group. The investigator will work with the Department of Education, service providers, residential facilities and other agencies that work directly with women with disabilities in an effort to contact as much participants as possible. They will be given a demographic sheet and questionnaire that inquires about their general screenings and immunization status. Additionally, they will be asked to voluntarily give anecdotal information concerning their experiences when seeking healthcare in the territory.

8 Outcome/Impact/ Utility This data can be used to provide technical assistance via training, workshops and conferences, to service providers, non-profit and for profit organizations and health care professionals about how to better serve people with disabilities, identify funding sources that will assist in overcoming barriers, and disseminate information that would better educate people with disabilities and their caregivers about services, resources and other information that is available to assist them with making decisions about their health and well-being.

9 Being a CERC Research Scholar As a CERC scholar I am able to enhance my research skills. Conducting this type of research will allow me to collect meaningful information that can be used by healthcare providers in the territory to solicit funding that will create opportunities for women with disabilities to get affordable healthcare in the US Virgin Islands.

10 Reference Healthy People Office of Disease Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services. Krahn, G., Hammond, L. Turner, A. (2006). A cascade of Disparities: Health and Health Care Access for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Mental retardation and developmental disabilities Research Reviews.12: Parish, S. and Huh, J. (2006). Health Care for Women with Disabilities: Population-Based Evidence of Disparities. Health and Social Work.31:7-15 Rimmer, J. (2009).Health Promotion for People with Disabilities:T he Emerging Paradigm Shift from disability Prevention to Prevention of Secondary Conditions. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability health Promotion. Thierry, J. (1998). Promoting the Health and Wellness of Women with Disabilities. Journal of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, office of Womens Health. (2009). Quick Health Data online: Health Disparities Profile. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Womens Health. (2009) Screening Tests and Immunization Guidelines for Women. Women with disabilities face healthcare barriers. (1999, April 29). The New York Amsterdam News, p.14.


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