Objectives. Sex and gender influence the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. However, specific tools that assess sex and gender-specific health determinants are lacking, and clinical services are rarely equipped to provide sex and gender-based treatments. This study describes the implementation of a comprehensive questionnaire to investigate such determinants in women accessing mental health services. The goal was to identify areas of improvement to promote sex and gender-sensitive care for women. Design and methods. A convenient sample of 100 women accessing the outpatient psychiatric and addiction service in Ferrara, Italy, between May and September 2022, were invited to complete a questionnaire specifically designed by the authors. The questionnaire investigated social-health domains, including trauma, and assessed care satisfaction. A descriptive analysis of the responses was conducted. Results. The women involved had an average age of 44 and were already receiving care (79%). Most were unemployed (72%), with a yearly income <15,000 euros (61%). Most of them (55%) were prescribed multiple psychotropics, reporting weight gain and reduced sexual desire as the most frequent side effects. Most (57%) were not using any contraception and did not undergo regular check-ups for breast and cervical cancer screening. Thirty-two participants reported having experienced sexual harassment/abuse. The majority (71%) felt that their suffering had been underestimated by relatives. Overall, they expressed satisfaction with the quality of care received. Conclusions. The study confirmed the sex and gender-specific needs of female users, especially regarding traumatic events, incentives for prevention and healthy sexuality, interventions supporting education and job placement. Further studies with larger and more diverse samples are needed.

Women and mental health: a gender-sensitive survey on determinants of health and care satisfaction in outpatient psychiatric services

Maria Ferrara
Primo
Conceptualization
;
Anna Panzani;Giulia Macis;Ilaria Domenicano
Formal Analysis
;
Angela Muscettola;Paola Carozza;Luigi Grassi
Ultimo
Supervision
2024

Abstract

Objectives. Sex and gender influence the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. However, specific tools that assess sex and gender-specific health determinants are lacking, and clinical services are rarely equipped to provide sex and gender-based treatments. This study describes the implementation of a comprehensive questionnaire to investigate such determinants in women accessing mental health services. The goal was to identify areas of improvement to promote sex and gender-sensitive care for women. Design and methods. A convenient sample of 100 women accessing the outpatient psychiatric and addiction service in Ferrara, Italy, between May and September 2022, were invited to complete a questionnaire specifically designed by the authors. The questionnaire investigated social-health domains, including trauma, and assessed care satisfaction. A descriptive analysis of the responses was conducted. Results. The women involved had an average age of 44 and were already receiving care (79%). Most were unemployed (72%), with a yearly income <15,000 euros (61%). Most of them (55%) were prescribed multiple psychotropics, reporting weight gain and reduced sexual desire as the most frequent side effects. Most (57%) were not using any contraception and did not undergo regular check-ups for breast and cervical cancer screening. Thirty-two participants reported having experienced sexual harassment/abuse. The majority (71%) felt that their suffering had been underestimated by relatives. Overall, they expressed satisfaction with the quality of care received. Conclusions. The study confirmed the sex and gender-specific needs of female users, especially regarding traumatic events, incentives for prevention and healthy sexuality, interventions supporting education and job placement. Further studies with larger and more diverse samples are needed.
2024
Ferrara, Maria; Panzani, Anna; Macis, Giulia; Sorio, Cristina; Domenicano, Ilaria; Muscettola, Angela; Carozza, Paola; Grassi, Luigi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2544150
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