Who decides? : Determining the women's health research agenda for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by B Joyner
This paper reflects on the issue of who determines the women’s health research agenda and is based on my experiences while working as a female general practitioner in remote communities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The higher birth rates in these communities mask subfertility or infertility. In many of these communities there are high rates of sexually transmitted infections that can cause infertility as the result of inflammatory changes in the fallopian tubes. However, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an anovulatory condition seemed relatively common. There was no clinical literature regarding PCOS in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. From my personal experience, I have interpreted the lack of progress in developing PCOS research for these communities as a reflection of many political dimensions in the community – interpersonal, professional, gender, and race. Without community support, there can be no ethical research, nor is there access to research funds.