"It's about time": College women's perceptions of gynecologic health

Mary K Canales, Jeanine Carr, Jeri Wohlberg
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2005, 17 (6): 225-33

PURPOSE: To examine college women's perceptions of gynecologic health, with a particular emphasis on healthcare decision making. Women's perceptions of health promotion efforts that would influence gynecologic health were also examined.

DATA SOURCES: Verbatim transcripts of individual and focus group interviews from 34 college women, 18-25 years of age, were thematically analyzed. Questions related to women's decisions to seek gynecologic health care and their healthcare experiences with providers.

CONCLUSIONS: Three themes were identified: (dis)connecting with their changing bodies, experiencing the healthcare encounter, and making healthcare decisions. Results suggest that college can be "the time" when college women begin to think about and act on decisions about gynecologic health. Implications for practice By acknowledging college women's multidimensional definitions of health and knowledge of healthy behaviors, advanced practice nurses can assist women in developing strategies for enacting these definitions and integrating desired healthy behaviors into their busy college lives.

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