The authors conducted a study to determine women's perceived health information needs in various geographic locations to plan health-related outreach in a Midwestern U.S. state. Eighty-seven women representing diverse communities in both urban and rural locations participated. Themes identified from transcripts of focus groups included confusion and information overload, concerns regarding lifestyle and specific health conditions, a lack of time for self care, factors influencing health-related behavior change, navigating the health system, and a need to "make this system work for me." The voices of these women contribute to the search for solutions to provide comprehensive, holistic women's health care in the U.S. and internationally.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded by the University of Minnesota (U of MN) Council on Public Engagement with additional support from the U of MN Powell Center for Women’s Health and the School of Nursing. The authors are grateful for the contributions of the 87 women who participated in the focus groups and the community partners who worked with us to arrange and facilitate the group process. The authors also acknowledge Catherine Juve, PhD, CNP, RN, and Roxanne Struthers, PhD, RN, for contributions to the project design, as well as Diane Banigo, MS, CNM; Patricia Hinck, MS, CNM; and Lisa Bowman, MS, CNM, for assistance with data collection.
We designed this project to inform the programs at a U.S. Midwestern university’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoE), funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Through interdisciplinary CoEs, health professionals provide programs in clinical care, outreach, research, and education. Our purpose was to determine women’s perceived health care information needs through a series of community-based focus groups among diverse women in geographic locations throughout one U.S. state. It was our belief that our work in the Outreach component of the CoE must be informed by talking with women themselves across the state.
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