Women's health in socio-cultural context


  • K. Morgan
  • A. Kinney
  • H. Preis
  • Y. Benyamini
  • I. Todorova
  • A. Baban


Aim: This symposium aims to highlight health psychology research which focuses on issues important to women. The studies draw on the experiences of women across 5 countries and emphasizes the importance of considering women’s health in context. Rationale: Women face many challenges surrounding genetic screening for cancer, fertility, childbirth and urinary incontinence and some of these issues are taken as ‘normal’ or expected. These challenges and women’s response to them may be important factors which impact their overall physical and emotional well-being. These experiences are shaped by socio-economic status, interpersonal factors legislation, access to services and culture. It is important therefore to consider experiences in context. Summary: The session will open with a study concerned with maximizing the effectiveness, dissemination and implementation of interventions to increase cancer genetic risk assessment, especially in ethnically diverse high-risk women (Kinney: Designed for Dissemination: Stakeholder engagement in a genomic risk communication intervention in breast cancer survivors). There will then be three presentations focusing on different issues in women’s reproductive health. The first is a cross-cultural study of fear of childbirth, comparing women in Israel and Norway and validating the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (Preis: Fear of childbirth: Cross-validation and comparison between two cultures). The second examines psychological adjustment in high-risk pregnancies (Benyamini: The role of dispositional and situated optimism in psychological adjustment to high-risk pregnancy) and the third, motherhood through egg donation (Todorova: Becoming a mother through egg donation: women’s reflections in on-line discussion forums in Bulgaria). The final oral presentation outlines a cross-culturally developed intervention for pelvic floor muscle training (Baban: Biofeedback and serious game system for pelvic floor muscle training in women with urinary incontinence). This will be followed with a short summary from the discussant and an interactive discussion with the audience on these salient issues that are important to woman.