Influence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting on Health Morbidity, Health Service Utilization and Satisfaction with Care among Somali Women and Teenage Girls in the United States

Crista E. Johnson-Agbakwu, Kathleen A. Fox, Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas, Georgia J. Michlig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: There is scant evidence on the health morbidities experienced by Somali women and girls affected by female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and their resultant health-seeking behavior in the USA as compared to those who have not undergone the procedure. To fill this gap, we conducted a comprehensive examination of health morbidity among women and teenage girls with and without FGM/C in a Somali migrant community. Methods: Using a comprehensive community-based participatory research approach, a cross-sectional survey was administered to 879 Somali women and teenage girls in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. We employed Chi-square and analysis of variance to disentangle health and healthcare use among those with and without FGM/C. Results: The majority of respondents had undergone FGM/C (79%). Respondents with FGM/C experienced significantly more health concerns compared to uncut women and girls, with those possessing Type III FGM/C experiencing significantly more obstetric, gynecologic, sexual, and mental health morbidity than those with Type I or Type II. Rates of service use, while varied, were low overall, particularly for mental health services, even with health insurance. The majority of respondents who sought care indicated that their concerns were resolved, and they were satisfied with the healthcare received. Conclusions: Community-engaged strategies that build upon satisfaction with care of women who seek care to enhance trust, nurture community embeddedness and facilitate peer navigation, while equipping health and social service providers with the competency and tools to provide respectful, trauma-informed care, will be critical to advance health equity for FGM/C-affected communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Female circumcision
  • Health equity
  • Health morbidity
  • Health-seeking behavior
  • Respectful maternity care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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