Strategic Plan Focuses on Women's Health
Miller, Naseem S., Clinical Psychiatry News
BETHESDA, MD. - The next decade's worth of research in women's health should focus on increasing understanding of the role of sex factors in differential disease risk, vulnerability, progression, and outcomes, as well as the effects of being female on health, according to the strategic plan for the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health.
"We need to continue the research that will help us better understand the health of women and of men," said Dr. Vivian W. Pinn, director of the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH). "We need to continue to expand the scientific base and make sure we have better ... and more effective ways of communicating the results of that research to women as well as to health care providers so that they have the benefits of that research."
The plan, "A Vision for 2020 for Women's Health Research: Moving Into the Future With New Dimensions and Strategies," was unveiled at a meeting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health.
The strategic plan, the third agenda-setting report produced by ORWH over the past 20 years, specifies six goals:
* Increase sex differences research in basic science studies;
* Incorporate findings of sex/gender differences in the design and application of new technologies, medical devices, and therapeutic drugs;
* Actualize personalized prevention, diagnostics, and therapeutics for girls and women;
* Create strategic alliances and partnerships to maximize the domestic and global impact of women's health research;
* Develop and implement new communication and social networking technologies to increase understanding and appreciation of women's health and wellness research;
* Employ innovative strategies to build a well-trained, diverse, and vigorous women's health research workforce.
Despite better understanding of certain diseases, little progress has been made in addressing debilitating conditions such as autoimmune diseases, addiction, lung cancer, and dementia, according to a recent Institute of Medicine committee report. Health disparities still exist among different groups of women, and the impact of social and behavioral factors on women's health is not yet well understood, according to the IOM report.
According to the ORWH strategic plan, research going forward must reach into several different areas. …