Gina Escamilla, project coordinator in the Public Health Sciences Division, was awarded first prize for Best Visual Poster at the recent Society of Behavioral Medicine conference held March 19-22 in Salt Lake City. Co-authors included Dr. Deborah Bowen and Diane Powers, also of PHS, and Dr. Judy Bradford of Virginia Commonwealth University. Clayton Hibberts, computer graphics specialist for the Cancer Prevention and Trials Program, designed the poster.
The group's presentation, "Health-Related Behaviors Between Women of Differing Sexual Orientation using Probability Sampling," was selected out of 120 posters presented during the session. The poster reported on a study conducted to explore population rates of health behaviors and access to adequate health care among lesbian and bisexual women (referred to in this study as sexual minority, or SM women) and heterosexual women living in Boston. Researchers conducted household surveys of women living in geographically dense "lesbian-rich" areas and compared key health-related variables between SM women and heterosexual women in the sample. The authors found that significantly higher proportions of SM women reported prior experience with an insensitive or judgmental provider, and lack of health insurance, compared to heterosexual women. Significantly lower proportions of SM women reported visiting a provider and having a Pap smear in the last 12 months compared to heterosexual women.