J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2021 May 19. doi: 10.1007/s40615-021-01059-8. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous neoplasms of the uterus. Women of color, including non-Hispanic Black/African American women and Hispanic/Latinas, have a higher uterine fibroid prevalence, incidence, and disease burden compared to non-Hispanic White women. Therefore, understanding ethnoracial factors in the diagnosis and treatment of uterine fibroids in women of color is critical. This study provides insight on the ethnoracial factors and cultural barriers experienced by women of color in the management and treatment of uterine fibroids.
METHODS: Women were recruited via The Fibroid Foundation, a nonprofit that provides uterine fibroid support and education. Women who were interested completed an online screening survey. Eligible participants were interviewed via phone. Transcribed audio recordings were qualitatively analyzed using the principles of grounded theory.
RESULTS: Forty-seven women of reproductive age who were diagnosed with uterine fibroids and received U.S.-based care participated in a semi-structured interview exploring experiences with uterine fibroid diagnosis and management. Twenty-eight women self-identified as Black, Latina, or other ethnicity. Women of color reported fibroid symptoms that significantly disrupted their work and home life. Women of color also reported perceptions that their race/ethnicity impacted their uterine fibroid treatment, including negative interpersonal provider-patient interactions. These perceptions engendered feelings of skepticism towards the medical system based on historical injustices and/or their own negative experiences and led some to go without longitudinal care.
CONCLUSION: Cultural and familial factors have significant impact on uterine fibroid diagnosis and management. Greater attention to culturally sensitive care and potential bias reduction in the treatment of uterine fibroids should be a priority.