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Women, Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2022) – 8 articles

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15 pages, 1506 KiB  
Article
Living with and Breaking a Cycle of Illness: A Secondary Qualitative Data Analysis of Women’s Experiences with Long COVID
by Alison Jackes, Michael Malfesi, Eleanor Curnow, Vaibhav Tyagi and Cathy Bulley
Women 2022, 2(2), 161-175; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020017 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2363
Abstract
Long COVID is an emerging condition, with early evidence suggesting it impacts women at a greater rate than men. As we seek to understand long COVID, it is important to consider the holistic impacts of this condition. Therefore, a qualitative perspective was used [...] Read more.
Long COVID is an emerging condition, with early evidence suggesting it impacts women at a greater rate than men. As we seek to understand long COVID, it is important to consider the holistic impacts of this condition. Therefore, a qualitative perspective was used to explore the experience of those living with long COVID. Eight people from Scotland, who presented as women and Caucasian, participated in this study. A thematic analysis, from a phenomenological perspective, was conducted on data collected during two semi-structured focus groups. Five central themes emerged including: (1) a prolonged, varied, and debilitating illness; (2) barriers to care; (3) predominantly negative experiences of care; (4) fighting to carry the burden; and (5) looking to the future. These themes are linked through an explanatory theory describing a cycle of illness, the work required to break the cycle, and participant’s aims to regain their health and advocate for their condition. The thematic results are consistent with two prior qualitative studies on long COVID, creating a relatively consistent picture of individuals’ experiences during the pandemic. Additionally, the developed theory shares commonalities with individuals living with chronic illness, providing further insight into participants’ experiences. Full article
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14 pages, 1431 KiB  
Systematic Review
Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Pregnant Women: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Matteo Riccò, Pietro Ferraro, Silvia Corrado, Alessandro Zaniboni, Elia Satta and Silvia Ranzieri
Women 2022, 2(2), 147-160; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020016 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 12199
Abstract
Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral pathogen. In infants, it is usually listed among the main causes of medical referrals and hospitalizations, particularly among newborns. While waiting for the results of early randomized controlled trials on maternal vaccination against [...] Read more.
Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral pathogen. In infants, it is usually listed among the main causes of medical referrals and hospitalizations, particularly among newborns. While waiting for the results of early randomized controlled trials on maternal vaccination against RSV, the present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to collect available evidence on maternal RSV infections. According to the PRISMA statement, Pubmed, Embase, and pre-print archive medRxiv.og were searched for eligible studies published up to 1 April 2022. Raw data included the incidence of RSV infection among sampled pregnant women, and the occurrence of complications. Data were then pooled in a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 measure, while reporting bias was assessed by means of funnel plots and regression analysis. A total of 5 studies for 282,918 pregnancies were retrieved, with a pooled prevalence of 0.2 per 100 pregnancies and 2.5 per 100 pregnancies with respiratory tract infections. Neither maternal deaths nor miscarriages were reported. Even though detailed data were available only for 6309 pregnancies and 33 RSV cases, infant outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm delivery were rare (in both cases 0.04%), but up to 9.1% in cases where RSV diagnosis was confirmed. No substantially increased risk for preterm delivery (RR 1.395; 95%CI 0.566 to 3.434) and giving birth to a low-birth-weight infant (RR 0.509; 95%CI 0.134 to 1.924) was eventually identified. Conclusions. Although RSV is uncommonly detected among pregnant women, incident cases were associated with a relatively high share of complications. However, heterogeneous design and the quality of retrieved reports stress the need for specifically designed studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Preventive Strategies in Order to Protect Pregnancy)
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12 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
Influence of Menstrual Cycle Length and Age at Menarche on Symptoms, Cognition, Social Cognition, and Metacognition in Patients with First-Episode Psychosis
by Paula Barrau-Sastre, Irene Birulés, Marina Verdaguer-Rodríguez, Raquel López-Carrilero, Marta Ferrer-Quintero, Helena García-Mieres, Luciana Díaz-Cutraro, Eva Grasa, Esther Pousa, Ester Lorente, Trinidad Peláez, María Luisa Barrigón, Isabel Ruiz-Delgado, Fermín González-Higueras, Jordi Cid, Alfonso Gutiérrez-Zotes, Daniel Cuadras, Judith Usall, Regina Vila-Badia, Ana Barajas, Susana Ochoa and on behalf of the Spanish Metacognition Groupadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Women 2022, 2(2), 135-146; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020015 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2273
Abstract
A protective effect has traditionally been attributed to estrogen in psychotic disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate cumulative lifetime estrogen by assessing the menstrual cycle length, age at menarche, and years of difference between the onset of psychotic symptoms and [...] Read more.
A protective effect has traditionally been attributed to estrogen in psychotic disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate cumulative lifetime estrogen by assessing the menstrual cycle length, age at menarche, and years of difference between the onset of psychotic symptoms and the age of menarche, measuring their effects on symptoms, cognition, social cognition, and metacognition. As it was not possible to directly measure cumulative estrogen levels over the lifetime of a patient, the study sample was composed of 42 women with first-episode psychosis; estrogen levels were inferred by the menstrual cycle length, age at menarche, and years of difference between the onset of psychotic symptoms and menarche. All patients were assessed with a battery of questionnaires using the BDI, PSYRATS, PANSS, STROOP, TAVEC, WSCT, IPSAQ, and BCIS questionnaires. The results related to menstrual cycle length showed a relationship with memory; specifically, shorter cycles with semantic strategies (p = 0.046) and longer cycles with serial strategies in the short term (p = 0.005) as well as in the long term (p = 0.031). The results also showed a relationship with perseverative errors (p = 0.035) and self-certainty (p = 0.049). Only personalized bias (p = 0.030) was found to be significant in relation to the age at menarche. When analyzing the differences in years of difference between the age at menarche and the onset of psychotic symptoms, the results indicated lower scores in women with a smaller difference between both events in memory (short-term (p = 0.050), long-term (p = 0.024), intrusions (p = 0.013), and recognition (p = 0.043)) and non-perseverative errors (p = 0.024). No relationship was found between symptoms and menstrual characteristics. The investigatory outcomes seem to indicate a relationship between estrogen cumulative effects and the memory domain. More in-depth investigations in the field are necessary in order to improve personalized treatment in women with psychosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Women 2021)
14 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Sociodemographic Influences on Perceived Stress during Pregnancy: Results from the CCREOH Environmental Epidemiologic Study, Suriname
by Aloysius Ph. Koendjbiharie, Ashna D. Hindori-Mohangoo, Wilco C. W. R. Zijlmans, Arti Shankar, Firoz Z. Abdoel Wahid, Hannah H. Covert, Maureen Y. Lichtveld and Stacy S. Drury
Women 2022, 2(2), 121-134; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020014 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1851
Abstract
Screening for prenatal stress is not routine in Suriname, despite its significant impact on maternal and newborn health. This study assessed the prevalence of high perceived prenatal stress and its sociodemographic predictors in three geographic areas in Suriname. In this cross-sectional study, data [...] Read more.
Screening for prenatal stress is not routine in Suriname, despite its significant impact on maternal and newborn health. This study assessed the prevalence of high perceived prenatal stress and its sociodemographic predictors in three geographic areas in Suriname. In this cross-sectional study, data from 1190 participants of the Caribbean Consortium for Research in Environmental and Occupational Health cohort study were analyzed. Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale was completed during pregnancy to ascertain high perceived stress (cut-off score 20). The association between maternal sociodemographic factors and high perceived stress was examined using the chi-square test and logistic regression models; 27.5% of all participants had high perceived stress with statistically significant lower rates in Nickerie (18.8%) compared with Paramaribo (29.8%; p = 0.001) and the Interior (28.6%; p = 0.019). Maternal sociodemographic factors moderated the difference between the Interior and Nickerie. Participants from Paramaribo had statistically significant higher odds of high perceived stress compared to those from Nickerie, independent of their age and educational level (adjusted OR = 1.94; 95% confidence interval 1.32–2.86). Perceived stress during pregnancy is predicted by sociodemographic factors. These findings identified target groups for interventions in Suriname. Policy makers should consider integrating perceived stress assessment as a routine part of prenatal care. Full article
6 pages, 198 KiB  
Communication
The Effects of a Recent Major Hurricane on a Reproductive Medicine Clinic
by Catherine Rault, Stefanie U. Braun and Nicole D. Ulrich
Women 2022, 2(2), 115-120; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020013 - 12 May 2022
Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Natural disasters and major weather events can have a large impact on fertility treatment in the affected area through unplanned clinic closures leading to cancelled cycles, severe weather endangering cryopreserved embryos and gametes, and long delays in the resumption of care related to [...] Read more.
Natural disasters and major weather events can have a large impact on fertility treatment in the affected area through unplanned clinic closures leading to cancelled cycles, severe weather endangering cryopreserved embryos and gametes, and long delays in the resumption of care related to infrastructure damage. The cessation of fertility treatment in these circumstances can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and trauma for patients and staff. As major weather events are expected to increase as a result of our warming planet, both the immediate effects of unplanned clinic closures and the long-term impacts on the success of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and pregnancy outcomes call for a closer evaluation of the effects of these events on the field of reproductive medicine. Research on developing new strategies to mitigate potential negative effects and improving our disaster preparedness is needed. Full article
13 pages, 266 KiB  
Article
Intimate Partner Violence and Pregnancy Termination among Tajikistan Women: Evidence from Nationally Representative Data
by Divya Vinnakota, Ali Davod Parsa, Madhini Sivasubramanian, Ilias Mahmud, Brijesh Sathian and Russell Kabir
Women 2022, 2(2), 102-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020012 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2987
Abstract
Intimate partner violence is the most common kind of violence and a significant public health issue. The relationship between intimate partner violence and pregnancy termination among Tajikistan women was investigated in this study. The data for this research was collected from the Tajikistan [...] Read more.
Intimate partner violence is the most common kind of violence and a significant public health issue. The relationship between intimate partner violence and pregnancy termination among Tajikistan women was investigated in this study. The data for this research was collected from the Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey 2017. This research has used the data of married women aged between 15 to 49 years. The findings from the study indicate that around 23.2% of married women in Tajikistan have experienced physical violence. The respondent’s age, region, and employment status was significantly associated with pregnancy termination (p < 0.05). Similarly, women who can refuse sex with their partner and ask their partner to use a condom are more likely to terminate pregnancy (p < 0.05). The characteristics of the husband or partner that had a significant positive association with pregnancy termination of married women in Tajikistan are age, educational level, and alcohol drinking status of their husbands (p < 0.05). This study also establishes the significant relationship between pregnancy termination and physical or emotional violence experienced by women (p < 0.05). The dynamics of domestic abuse need to be understood by healthcare providers to aid women in making decisions on whether or not to terminate their pregnancy. Full article
9 pages, 254 KiB  
Commentary
Body Size, Fertility, and Reproductive Justice: Examining the Complex Interplay between BMI, Reproductive Health, and Access to Care
by Breonna Slocum, Adrienne Shami and Samantha B. Schon
Women 2022, 2(2), 93-101; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020011 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3870
Abstract
The relationship between obesity and reproduction is highly complex. While there are clear obstetrical and fertility risks associated with elevated BMI, it is less clear how weight loss impacts these outcomes. Increasingly, patients considered obese according to BMI are being denied access to [...] Read more.
The relationship between obesity and reproduction is highly complex. While there are clear obstetrical and fertility risks associated with elevated BMI, it is less clear how weight loss impacts these outcomes. Increasingly, patients considered obese according to BMI are being denied access to fertility care, thus leaving them without treatment options for their disease (infertility). Notably, BMI cutoffs disproportionately affect historically marginalized populations in the United States and people of lower socioeconomic status (SES). This paper uses a reproductive justice framework to discuss access to reproductive healthcare based on BMI. In doing so, we connect obesity to larger systems of structural inequalities. We conclude that rather than strict BMI cutoffs, a more holistically patient-centered approach is appropriate taking into account the overall health of the individual, available scientific data, clinical capabilities, and the patient’s value system. This will ultimately make reproductive medicine more accessible to all patients. Full article
5 pages, 197 KiB  
Commentary
Racial Discrimination against Minority Healthcare Workers in Women’s Health
by Khalid S. Khan
Women 2022, 2(2), 88-92; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2020010 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4414
Abstract
The women’s sexual and reproductive healthcare sector, one of the largest employers delivering services globally, does not always commit to equality, diversity, and inclusion. There is objective, published evidence that not only care provision but also workforce treatment permits inequality and discrimination. The [...] Read more.
The women’s sexual and reproductive healthcare sector, one of the largest employers delivering services globally, does not always commit to equality, diversity, and inclusion. There is objective, published evidence that not only care provision but also workforce treatment permits inequality and discrimination. The black and ethnic minority workforce in the women’s health specialty, compared to their white counterparts, is often treated unfavorably in appointments, is less often afforded academic development opportunities, is, at many sites, subjected to disproportionately greater disciplinary penalties, tends not have representation in positions of authority, and undertakes training in what is often perceived as a climate of fear due to racism. This problem deserves immediate action by professional bodies. They have the responsibility to remove feelings of exclusion and lack of belonging to all staff, the negative impact on wellbeing caused by unnecessary stress, and concerns over career progression among minority ethnic healthcare workforce and other workers who report discrimination. This duty is part of the societal responsibility to ensure fairness and eradicate discrimination under the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Women 2021)
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