To earn credit for this assigned discussion board, students must review the background information and resources provided. Requirements for Discussion Post:
● The student must fully answer the questions provided.
● It must be evident the student reviewed the material and resources provided for the discussion post. (Providing supporting details or referencing specific sections of the resources are great ways to ensure this).
*Although responding to a post is not a requirement for these discussion boards, it is encouraged. All responses should be respectful of others, even if you have differing views and perspectives.
Medical Gaslighting and the Negative Impacts it can have on Female Reproductive Health.
The term gaslighting is a term used more frequently in conversations today as people become more aware of how communication can impact mental health. Although there are different definitions of gaslighting, it is commonly defined as a type of abuse that causes a person to question their own sanity, memories, or perception of reality. In the clinical setting, we are seeing the term medical gaslighting being used to describe this phenomenon in relation to patient care. One area where bias can greatly negatively impact a patient’s health is female reproductive health. There is certainly a historical significance where the symptoms of women and complaints were dismissed often written off a hysteria.
The complaints of female patients are still being dismissed in modern healthcare settings, sometimes resulting in fatal consequences. In the article below, four different healthcare professionals will explain how medical gaslighting is an area often overlooked, resulting in patients having to advocate for themselves and often needing to seek out multiple doctors before reaching a diagnosis:
Effective prenatal and postnatal care can be essential in the health of the mother and child. When symptoms are overlooked or dismissed, this can prove to be fatal. Maternal mortality rates in the United States compared to other developing countries are significantly higher. Although the United States does have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (which can increase risk factors for complications), this is not enough to explain the higher death rates we see for women before, during, and after labor. Minority groups exhibit even higher maternal mortality rates compared to other patient groups in the United States. Medical gaslighting can occur both in and out of the clinical setting. Symptoms such as high blood pressure are sometimes written off as stress or anxiety prior to labor. Review the article below to learn more about the maternal mortality rate in the United States compared to other countries:
In addition to issues around prenatal and postnatal care that may be overlooked due to implicit bias, disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis are often misdiagnosed or written off to be standard premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Patients often find their complaints and pain symptoms dismissed before reaching a diagnosis. Review the article below:
A scanned version of this article will be shared under this discussion board in case this issue appears behind a paywall.
1) In addition to bias that may lead to symptoms being dismissed during prenatal and postnatal care, what other boundaries do you feel might contribute to the significant difference seen in the US maternal mortality rate?
2) If symptoms line up with either PCOS or endometriosis for a potential diagnosis, what are some ways healthcare professionals can advocate for their patients and/or patients advocate for themselves when seeking treatment?