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Informing the NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health request for information on the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health of women with psychological science

APA’s comments responding to the ORWH’s call for input encourages the NIH to support a research focus on the social determinants of health and the covid-19 pandemic.

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American Psychological Association. (2022, May 10). Informing the NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health request for information on the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health of women with psychological science. https://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/covid-19-women-health-psychological-science

Woman speaking with a psychologist

On May 6, APA responded to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and the NIH Coordinating Committee on Research on Women’s Health’s request for information on the intersection of the sars-CoV-2 and covid-19 pandemic and the health of women.

APA’s federal comments recognized the COVID-19 pandemic as a “syndemic” (PDF, 161KB) that is ongoing and disproportionately affecting women and people of color, and worsening longstanding disparities in health status and outcomes. The association’s response also highlighted the Stress in America™ survey: Stress and decision-making during the pandemic, revealing that 84% of U.S. adults reported feeling at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress. COVID-19 was among the top sources of this stress.

APA recommendations included recommended research from Division 38’s Women’s Health Interest Group and Equity Subcommittee and the Committee on Women in Psychology encouraged NIH to:

  • Support a research focus on the social determinants of health,
  • Increase attention to the mental health of pregnant people and those who gave birth during the pandemic,
  • Explicitly acknowledge the intersectionality of risk factors associated with covid for women,
  • Support a focus on the increased rates of suicide and overdose,
  • Examine covid-19 effects on the mental health of transgender women,
  • Identify barriers that may be disrupting high-quality health care access and equity,
  • Support research to examine the health of the workforce,
  • Examine domestic and intimate-partner violence and its impact on women’s health,
  • Increase the research focus on misinformation and vaccine safety, and
  • Support career development to promote research.

For more information, contact Angela L. Sharpe.