Factors Associated with Health Care Provider Attitudes, and Confidence for the Care of Women and Girls Affected by Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Christina X. Marea, Nicole Warren, Nancy Glass, Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, Nancy Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a cultural practice that includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause harm to female genital organs for nonmedical reasons, affecting ∼200 million women and girls globally. Health care providers in the United States often lack confidence to provide appropriate FGM/C-related care, and experience attitudes that may negatively impact quality of care for FGM/C. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of health care providers to explore the associations between health care provider characteristics, awareness of health complications of FGM/C, attitudes, and confidence for FGM/C care. Results: Factors associated with more Confidence for Clinical FGM/C Care include awareness of health complications, ever cared for a woman with FGM/C, being a woman or person of color, and more than 5 years of clinical practice. Increased Confidence in Communication Skills for FGM/C Care was associated with awareness of more health complications for FGM/C. Women endorsed significantly less Negative Attitudes toward FGM/C compared with men; no other factors were associated with health care provider attitudes. Conclusion: Future research should further investigate factors associated with health care provider attitudes toward FGM/C and those affected by the practice to promote quality care. Health providers require adequate training for clinical FGM/C care and in the communication skills that promote patient/provider communication cross-culturally. Trial Registration: Clinical Trials.Gov ID no. NCT03249649, Study ID no. 5252. Public website: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03249649

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • attitudes
  • confidence
  • female circumcision
  • female genital cutting
  • female genital mutilation
  • health care provider

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management


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