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APN Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, and Practices in Providing Women's Healthcare Services to Women with Disabilities


  • Cheryl A. Lehman PhD BC RN CRRN

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    • Cheryl A. Lehman, PhD BC RN CRRN, is an assistant professor in acute nursing care at the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.


Women with disabilities require the same gynecological and reproductive healthcare services as women without disabilities, yet they often experience difficulty obtaining them. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) increasingly provide primary care services that include women's health care, yet their influence on this population has not been systematically examined. This study examined the practices, environments, knowledge, and self-efficacy of APNs in Texas regarding provision of women's health care to women with disabilities. The study's respondents are 744 women who replied to a mailed survey. The results reveal that while nurses do not lack knowledge, work environments do not support competent care of women with disabilities and practices do not always follow national guidelines. Predictors of self-efficacy in provision of health care to women with disabilities were status as a women's health nurse practitioner, previous rehabilitation experience, high knowledge scores, and a working environment perceived as accessible. Until changes are made in APN education and environmental barriers are addressed, APNs may not be able to provide optimal women's healthcare services to women with disabilities.