“Most of Them Are Amateurs”: Women with Spinal Cord Injury Experience the Lack of Education and Training among Medical Providers While Seeking Gynecological Care

Heather Elise Dillaway, Catherine L. Lysack

Abstract


Although the American Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) became federal law more than two decades ago, individuals with disabilities continue to experience substandard healthcare. We use this article to hone in on disabled women's experiences of seeking gynecological care and the access disparities they still face. The data for this qualitative study were gathered using in-depth interviews with 20 women living with spinal cord injuries in or around Detroit, Michigan. Each interviewee was questioned about overall health and physical functioning, accessibility of doctor offices, interactions with health care providers, and gynecological health-seeking behaviors. In this paper we report on women's gynecological healthcare experiences and related attitudes and practices, and what women see as the primary structural and social barriers to comprehensive care. Findings echo past literature about the inaccessibility of doctor's offices, including the lack of suitable exam tables. However, our findings also suggest that the lack of education and training among medical providers could be a key social barrier and determinant of whether individual women actually secure gynecological care.

Keywords


spinal cord injury; gynecological health care; barrier; education; training; qualitative research

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v35i3.4934

Copyright (c) 2015 Heather Elise Dillaway, Catherine L. Lysack



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Terri Fizer.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)