Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Research Publications

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    Social Media Use and Health and Well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth: Systematic Review.
    Berger, MN ; Taba, M ; Marino, JL ; Lim, MSC ; Skinner, SR (JMIR Publications Inc., 2022-09-21)
    BACKGROUND: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are at higher risk of poor mental health and well-being. Social media platforms can provide LGBTQ youths with a space that counters heteronormative environments and potentially supports mental health and well-being. Mental health includes an individual's state of psychological and emotional well-being and not merely the absence of mental disorders. OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify how LGBTQ youths and adolescents use social media for connection with other LGBTQ peers and groups, identity development, and social support and how these affect mental health and well-being. METHODS: PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) procedures were used to guide this review. Searches were conducted in ACM Digital Library, CINAHL, Ovid Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, and Web of Science in March 2021. This review focused on LGBTQ youths aged 10 to 24 years. Included peer-reviewed studies must comprise social media; explore peer connection, identity development, or social support; and be published from 2012 onward. In total, 2 researchers extracted data and performed quality assessments independently using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for quantitative articles and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme for qualitative articles. Qualitative synthesis was performed on articles that satisfied the eligibility criteria. RESULTS: A total of 26 studies (n=15, 58% qualitative; n=8, 31% quantitative; n=3, 12% mixed methods) met the inclusion criteria. Of the 8 quantitative studies, 6 (75%) were cross-sectional, and 2 (25%) were cohort studies. All studies ranged from moderate to high quality. Social media was a popular tool used by LGBTQ youths to connect with LGBTQ communities. In qualitative data, we found that LGBTQ youths negotiated and explored identity and obtained support from peers on social media. Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter were commonly used to access LGBTQ content owing to ease of anonymity. Identity management was the most studied social media affordance, important to LGBTQ youths for strategic disclosure. Key strategies for managing identities included being anonymous, censoring locations or content, restricting audiences, and using multiple accounts. Quantitative studies (3/8, 38%) showed that social media was associated with reduced mental health concerns and increased well-being among LGBTQ youths. Mental health concerns arising from social media use were attributed to discrimination, victimization, and policies that did not accommodate changed identities. CONCLUSIONS: We found that social media may support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youths through peer connection, identity management, and social support, but findings were limited by weaknesses in the evidence. More robust and longitudinal studies are needed to determine the relationship between social media use and LGBTQ mental health, particularly among adolescents. The findings may inform interventions to promote social media health literacy and the mental health and well-being of this vulnerable group. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42020222535; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=222535.
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    Social media's role in support networks among LGBTQ adolescents: a qualitative study
    Berger, MN ; Taba, M ; Marino, JL ; Lim, MSC ; Cooper, SC ; Lewis, L ; Albury, K ; Chung, KSK ; Bateson, D ; Skinner, SR (CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2021-10-28)
    Background Adolescents use social media more frequently than other age groups. Social media has been described as a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) adolescents. As part of mixed-methods research investigating the association between social networks and sexual agency, we present qualitative findings on how LGBTQ adolescents connect online to form support networks. Methods We recruited 30 adolescents aged 14-17years who identified as LGBTQ in terms of their gender or attraction in the longitudinal Social Networks and Agency Project. Semi-structured interviews were conducted online or face-to-face across Australia. Thematic analysis was used to explore perceptions and experiences of participants in relation to social media use and relationships. Results Two overarching themes were identified: LGBTQ adolescents use social media for identity, relationships and wellbeing support. Social media is not always free of discrimination for LGBTQ adolescents. Many LGBTQ participants joined Facebook groups to connect with LGBTQ peers. Facebook was considered a vital support for those with mental health concerns including suicidal ideation. Participants gave and received support from group members, which was considered useful for those feeling isolated or victimised. LGBTQ adolescents formed friendships, romantic relationships and gained information on sex, relationships, and sexual health from these groups. Participants described negative experiences including discrimination within Facebook groups, mismanaged groups and exposure to anti-LGBTQ sentiments. Conclusion Social media is an environment where LGBTQ adolescents can connect, educate and support each other, which may have beneficial effects for this marginalised group. There remain issues with social media including discrimination against and within LGBTQ communities.
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    Health, social and economic implications of adolescent risk behaviours/states: protocol for Raine Study Gen2 cohort data linkage study
    Marino, JL ; Tait, RJ ; Straker, LM ; Schofield, DJ ; Doherty, DA ; Ivers, RQ ; Graham, PL ; Steinbeck, K ; Lymer, S ; Sanci, LA ; Patton, GC ; Liu, B ; Brooks, FM ; Kang, MS ; Hickey, M ; Cunich, M ; Bista, S ; Skinner, SR (Bristol University Press, 2022)
    Background: Risk-taking behaviours are a major contributor to youth morbidity and mortality. Vulnerability to these negative outcomes is constructed from individual behaviour including risktaking, and from social context, ecological determinants, early life experience, developmental capacity and mental health, contributing to a state of higher risk. However, although risktaking is part of normal adolescent development, there is no systematic way to distinguish young people with a high probability of serious adverse outcomes, hindering the capacity to screen and intervene. This study aims to explore the association between risk behaviours/states in adolescence and negative health, social and economic outcomes through young adulthood. Methods: The Raine Study is a prospective cohort study which recruited pregnant women in 1989–91, in Perth, Western Australia. The offspring cohort (N = 2,868) was followed up at regular intervals from 1 to 27 years of age. These data will be linked to State government health and welfare administrative data.We will empirically examine relationships across multiple domains of risk (for example, substance use, sexual behaviour, driving) with health and social outcomes (for instance, roadcrash injury, educational underachievement). Microsimulation models will measure the impact of risk-taking on educational attainment and labour force outcomes. Discussion: Comprehensive preventive child health programmes and policy prioritise a healthy start to life. This is the first linkage study focusing on adolescence to adopt a multidomain approach, and to integrate health economic modelling. This approach captures a more complete picture of health and social impacts of risk behaviour/ states in adolescence and young adulthood.
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    How do health practitioners in a large Australian public hospital identify and respond to reproductive abuse? A qualitative study
    Tarzia, L ; Wellington, M ; Marino, J ; Hegarty, K (WILEY, 2019-10-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Reproductive abuse is defined as a deliberate attempt to control or interfere with a woman's reproductive choices. It is associated with a range of negative health outcomes and presents a hidden challenge for health practitioners. There is a dearth of research on reproductive abuse, particularly qualitative research. This study aims to address this gap by exploring how health practitioners in a large Australian public hospital identify and respond to reproductive abuse. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with n=17 health practitioners working across multiple disciplines within a large metropolitan public hospital in Victoria. Data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Three themes were developed: Figuring out that something is wrong; Creating a safe space to work out what she wants; and Everyone needs to do their part. CONCLUSIONS: Practitioners relied on intuition developed through experience to identify reproductive abuse. Once identified, most practitioners described a woman-led response promoting safety; however, there were inconsistencies in how this was enacted across different professions. Lack of clarity around the level of response required was also a barrier. Implications for public health: Our findings highlight the pressing need for evidence-based guidelines for health practitioners and a 'best practice' model specific to reproductive abuse.
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    Night Shift Among Women: Is It Associated With Difficulty Conceiving a First Birth?
    Fernandez, RC ; Moore, VM ; Marino, JL ; Whitrow, MJ ; Davies, MJ (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-12-01)
    Background: Asynchrony in circadian processes alters many physiological systems, including female reproduction. Thus, there are possible reproductive consequences of night shift work for women including menstrual irregularity, endometriosis, and prolonged time to conception. This study examined whether women who worked night shift were more likely than those who did not to require fertility treatment to conceive a first birth, whether they had specific infertility diagnoses, and if such relationships were age-specific. Methods: In a retrospective data linkage study of 128,852 primiparous women, fertility treatment data were linked to the state perinatal registry for South Australia (1986-2002). Potential exposure to night shift work was assessed using a job-exposure matrix. First, the association between night shift work and fertility treatment was assessed among (1) all women, then (2) women in paid employment, using logistic regression. Interactions between age and shift work status were also examined. Secondly, among women who conceived with fertility treatment, we assessed associations between night shift work and type of infertility diagnosis. Potential confounders were considered in all analyses. Results: Among women ≤35 years, night shift workers were more likely to require fertility treatment (all: OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.19-1.64; in paid employment: OR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.08-1.50). There were no associations among women >35 years. Ethnicity, socioeconomic status and smoking did not affect these results. Among women who underwent fertility treatment, night shift workers were more likely than day workers to have menstrual irregularity (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 1.05-1.91) or endometriosis (OR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.00-1.80). Conclusions: Night shift work may contribute to increased need for fertility treatment in younger women. This increased risk may reflect young women's vulnerability in terms of poor tolerance of night shift work, and/or lack of control and choice about shift schedule.
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    Exploring the gray areas between "stealthing" and reproductive coercion and abuse
    Tarzia, L ; Srinivasan, S ; Marino, J ; Hegarty, K (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-08-11)
    The aim of this qualitative study was to understand and differentiate between women's experiences of "stealthing" (non-consensual condom removal) and reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) which is defined as any deliberate attempt to control a woman's reproductive choices or interfere with her reproductive autonomy. These two experiences are often conflated within the literature, yet little is known about whether this understanding reflects women's lived reality. We recruited female participants from a large Australian metropolitan hospital who self-identified as having experienced a partner interfering with contraception or trying to force them to get pregnant or end a pregnancy against their wishes. Fourteen women (predominantly white, educated and employed) participated in an in-depth interview. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and a process of thematic narrative analysis was undertaken, focusing on the meanings women assigned to their experiences and the differences and similarities across the stories. Analysis revealed that stories about stealthing were characterized by disrespect and selfishness, whereas RCA stories highlighted control with intent. The concepts of intent and control can therefore be understood as central to defining RCA and differentiating it from stealthing. It seems likely that stealthing is primarily a form of sexual violence, as it lacks the specific reproductive intent that characterizes RCA. These findings have important implications for how RCA and stealthing are addressed and measured in research and responded to in practice.
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    Differential Gene Expression in Menstrual Endometrium From Women With Self-Reported Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
    Girling, JE ; Lockhart, MG ; Olshansky, M ; Paiva, P ; Woodrow, N ; Marino, JL ; Hickey, M ; Rogers, PAW (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2017-01-01)
    Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) is a significant social and public health issue for menstruating women. Development of targeted treatments has been limited by poor understanding of local mechanisms underlying HMB. We aimed to determine how gene expression differs in menstrual phase endometrium from women with HMB. Menstrual phase endometrial biopsies were collected from women with (n = 7) and without (n = 10) HMB (regular menstrual cycles, no known pelvic pathology), as well as women with uterine fibroids (n = 7, n = 4 had HMB). Biopsies were analyzed using Illumina Sentrix Human HT12 arrays and data analyzed using "Remove Unwanted Variation-inverse". Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery v6.7 were used to identify gene pathways, functional gene clusters, and upstream regulators specific to the clinical groupings. Individual genes of interest were examined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. In total, 829 genes were differentially expressed in one or more comparisons. Significant canonical pathways and gene clusters enriched in controls relative to both HMB and fibroid groups suggest the mechanisms responsible for HMB include modifications of the endometrial inflammatory or infection response. In contrast, differentially expressed genes in women with fibroids suggest modifications of hemoglobin, antigen processing, and the major histocompatibility complex (class II, beta chain) activity. In conclusion, HMB associated with fibroids may be regulated by different endometrial mechanisms from HMB in women without fibroids and from normal menstrual bleeding. These novel data provide numerous testable hypotheses that will advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for HMB.
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    Maternal factors and the risk of birth defects after IVF and ICSI: a whole of population cohort study
    Davies, MJ ; Rumbold, AR ; Marino, JL ; Willson, K ; Giles, LC ; Whitrow, MJ ; Scheil, W ; Moran, LJ ; Thompson, JG ; Lane, M ; Moore, VM (WILEY, 2017-09-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To assess the contribution of maternal factors to major birth defects after in vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and natural conception. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study in South Australia for the period January 1986 to December 2002. SETTING: A whole of population study. POPULATION: A census of all IVF and ICSI linked to registries for births, pregnancy terminations, and birth defects (diagnosed before a child's fifth birthday). METHODS: Odds ratios (ORs) for birth defects were calculated among IVF, ICSI, and natural conceptions for maternal age, parity, pre-pregnancy BMI, smoking, pre-existing diseases, and conditions in pregnancy, with adjustment for confounding factors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Birth defects classified by International Classification of Diseases (ninth revision) and British Paediatric Association (ICD9-BPA) codes. RESULTS: There were 2211 IVF, 1399 ICSI, and 301 060 naturally conceived births. The unadjusted prevalence of any birth defect was 7.1, 9.9, and 5.7% in the IVF, ICSI, and natural conception groups, respectively. As expected, the risk of birth defects increased with maternal age among the natural conceptions. In contrast, for IVF and ICSI combined, relative to natural conceptions, births to women aged ≤29 years had a higher risk (adjusted odds ratio, aOR 1.42; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI 1.04-1.94), births to women aged 35-39 years had no difference in risk (aOR 1.01; 95% CI 0.74-1.37), and births to women aged ≥40 years had a lower risk of defects (aOR 0.45; 95% CI 0.22-0.92). Defects were also elevated for nulliparity, anaemia, and urinary tract infection in births after ICSI, but not after IVF. CONCLUSIONS: The usual age-birth defect relationship is reversed in births after IVF and ICSI, and the associations for other maternal factors and defects vary between IVF and ICSI. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Risk of birth defects in women over 40 years is lower after infertility treatment than for natural conceptions.
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    Managing menopausal symptoms after breast cancer - A multidisciplinary approach
    Cohen, PA ; Brennan, A ; Marino, JL ; Saunders, CM ; Hickey, M (ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD, 2017-11-01)
    More than 6 million women worldwide are living with a past diagnosis of breast cancer. Most survive their illness, and management of the long-term consequences of treatment has become a priority in cancer care. Menopausal symptoms affect most breast cancer survivors and may significantly impair quality of life. We describe a multidisciplinary model to evaluate and manage these women using a patient-focused approach. The 'Multidisciplinary Menopause After Cancer Clinic' includes gynecologists, endocrinologists, GPs, a psychologist and a clinical nurse specialist. Benefits of this model include improved coordination of patient care, education, communication and evidence-based decision making.