The Institute for Research on Women and Gender has awarded seven seed grants for faculty projects on women, gender and sexuality. The IRWG grants support individual research activities, as well as collaborative projects, such as pilot studies or initial research efforts.
Several IHPI members were among the recipients, including:
Lisa Kane Low — Departments of Women’s Studies, Nursing, and Obstetrics/Gynecology, "The Reproductive Beliefs of Newly Resettled Syrian Refugees"
Reproductive health rests on the ability to plan one’s pregnancies, yet planning can be challenging for groups in certain life situations, such as refugee women living in camps and resettlements. This project will explore how reproductive beliefs frame preferences and choices — both realized and unrealized — in order to encourage reproductive health services that are better tailored to this specific population. Female Syrian refugees who have resettled in Michigan within the past year will be interviewed to evaluate how major life events unique to their refugee status impact their reproductive desires and preferences, including where they obtain information, resources, and support related to reproduction. This research will be used to inform interventions to reduce unintended pregnancies amongst refugees, as well as informing the development of public policy for the culturally congruent support of refugee women and their reproductive health goals.
Vijay Singh — Department of Emergency Medicine, "Pilot Test and Evaluation of Violence Against Women Healthcare Training in the Ghana-Michigan Emergency Medicine Collaborative"
Intimate partner violence and sexual violence, collectively known as violence against women, are globally pervasive with significant health consequences. The World Health Organization has recently developed guidelines for the health care response to violence against women. As part of a larger project to develop training curricula for health-care providers and students in low-to-middle income countries, research collaborators from the Department of Emergency Medicine will travel to the Ghana-Michigan Emergency Medicine Collaborative to conduct on-site pilot testing and evaluation of the new curricula.
Golfo Tzilos — Departments of Family Medicine, and Psychiatry, "Understanding Reproductive Health Vulnerabilities in Adolescent Girls: Towards a mHealth Intervention"
Adolescent girls face unique health risks and vulnerabilities, including greater susceptibility to acquiring sexually transmitted infections, as compared to their male peers. When young women engage in alcohol use and sexual risk-taking simultaneously, they are more likely to acquire an STI. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions are ideally suited for adolescents. The current project will explore the views of adolescent girls (15-19 years old) on the desired qualities and content of an mHealth app for sexual health, informing the development of a culturally sensitive intervention with the potential to impact the reproductive health of substantial numbers of adolescent girls.