Black Women and Sickle Cell Disease

Implications for Mental Health Disparities Research

  • Portia L. Cole Virginia Commonwealth University


This qualitative study sought to center the personal experiences of Black American women affected by Sickle Cell disease (SCD) within the broader policy discussion of mental health disparities. Previous research suggests that stress may serve as a trigger for painful episodes which may contribute to increased rates of psychiatric morbidity in this population. The sample consisted of 10 women who perceived disease related stress in various social settings. Data was collected via tape recorded interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. The findings shed light on the role of perceived social stressors as potential determinants of mental health disparities among SCD women. The development of a gender and race specific psychosocial screening instrument which measures the social correlates of stress in this population is warranted. Amelioration of the social conditions that place SCD women at risk for poor mental health outcomes should be the ultimate policy goal.
How to Cite
Cole, P. L. (2007). Black Women and Sickle Cell Disease: Implications for Mental Health Disparities Research. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 5(SI), 24-39.