Presentation of findings from gender-sensitive health research

Prof. Anne Hammarström (l., Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) and Prof. Olena Hankivsky (r., Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada) during discussion of next steps to be taken in gender-sensitive and intersectional medicine

Brandenburg an der Havel/Bremen, 14 December 2022

Last Friday, 9 December 2022, Brandenburg an der Havel was the location of a symposium on the research project AdvanceGender jointly carried out by the Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology at the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, the Institute of Public Health and Care Research / University of Bremen (IPP) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Methods for gender-sensitive health research and health reporting elaborated under the project between 2017 and 2022 were presented and discussed at the symposium.

The participating institutions also introduced the website which offers free access to the developed methods and tools. It is a spin-off of the joint project financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and addresses the expert community as well as students of health sciences and health reporting, of medicine and social sciences.

According to Prof. Dr. Christine Holmberg as spokesperson and manager of the research partnership AdvanceGender, research and health reporting are gender-sensitive where there is a chance to adequately map social dimensions of gender, such as the health-related effects of gender discrimination: “A sound understanding of these correlations is necessary to derive appropriate steps to reduce health-related disparities.”

Dr. Philipp Jaehn from the MHB Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology coordinates the project. He says that gender discrimination cannot be considered as isolated and needs to be viewed in interaction with other categories of social imbalance like ethnic background, poverty, sexuality or handicap. “We know that the quality of medical interventions in women, for example, may differ depending on ethnic origin. US researchers found indications that Black women, i.e. women who call themselves Black and feel negatively affected by racism, receive care of poorer quality for heart attacks compared to white women. The concept of intersectionality applied in AdvanceGender integrates this recognition of interdependence between categories of social disparity.”

In the search for new approaches to gender-sensitive research and health reporting, the AdvanceGender project served to develop novel methods of statistical data analysis. Prof. Dr. Gabriele Bolte from the IPP is in charge of the subproject AdvanceDataAnalysis. She points to the challenge facing scientists to adequately integrate gender-theoretical and intersectionality-informed concepts into statistical analyses of data from epidemiological health studies: “Our research results illustrate the potential additional benefit of gender-sensitive and intersectionality-informed strategies of data analysis for health reporting.”

Further results of the project AdvanceGender include solution approaches for the description of trial participation, the interpretation of research findings and the planning of health reports.

Scientific contact::
Prof. Dr. phil. Christine Holmberg, MA, MPH
Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane
Professor of Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Phone: +49 3381 41-1281

Media contact:
Dr. Eric Alexander Hoffmann
Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane
Head of Communications, University Spokesman
Phone: +49 3391 39-14160