At SCI Grand Rounds, Dr. Kalpakjian Discusses Gynecological Health Care Experiences of Women with Disabilities
Claire Z. Kalpakjian, PhD, MS, delivered a presentation, “’Makes You Want to Just Give Up…and Hide’: The Gynecological Health Care Experiences of Women with Disabilities” at the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Grand Rounds on May 27, 2014 at Kessler Conference Center, sponsored by the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System (NNJSCIS).
Dr. Kalpakjian shared survey data from approximately 400 women with disabilities with an average age of 39. A very important but under addressed health topic, the study revealed that preventative care was the primary gynecological concern for the participants, followed by sexuality and regulating menstrual periods. The survey uncovered structural, attitudinal, and knowledge barriers that women with disabilities face when receiving routine gynecological care and shared their candid experiences to demonstrate how they impact future visits and care. Dr. Kalpakjian will further investigate these issues in future research in an effort to improve gynecological care for women with disabilities.
Dr. Kalpakjian is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School. She has practiced in the field of rehabilitation for over 20 years as a clinician and researcher and studies women’s health and disability, gender differences in health and well-being after injury, and psychosocial outcomes of disability. Dr. Kalpakjian is co-investigator at the University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems.
NNJSCIS—a cooperative effort of Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—is federally funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research from the US Department of Education (Grant #H133N110020). A comprehensive system of care, research, education, and dissemination aimed at improving quality of life for people with SCI, NNJSCIS collects patient data from the time of injury through long-term follow-up. NNJSCIS is one of 14 SCI Model Systems in the nation. Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, director of SCI Research at Kessler Foundation, co-directs NNJSCIS with Dr. Kirshblum of Kessler Institute. Kessler Foundation is one of eight centers in the US with dual Model Systems in SCI and traumatic brain injury.