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Female genital mutilation and mental health: how can research help the victims?

BJPsych Bull. 2016 Aug;40(4):230-1. doi: 10.1192/pb.40.4.230.

Female genital mutilation and mental health: how can research help the victims?

Alachkar M

EXTRACT

In their paper on mental health problems associated with female genital mutilation (FGM) Knipscheer et al1 concluded that ‘a considerable minority group, characterised by infibulated women who have a vivid memory of the circumcision and cope with their symptoms in an avoidant way, reports to experience severe consequences of genital circumcision’.

I welcome the authors’ brave contribution to this crucial but under-researched topic, and appreciate their attempt at exploring the relationship between FGM and psychopathology in circumcised migrant women. However, despite their genuine acknowledgement of the limitations of their findings, it is my opinion that their paper suffers from various shortcomings which I will try to address here…

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Health professionals worldwide lack knowledge on female genital mutilation

BMJ. 2015;351:h6693

Health professionals worldwide lack knowledge on female genital mutilation

Kmietowicz Z

EXTRACT

More training and guidance on treating women and girls who have had female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) are needed for health professionals around the world, a review has concluded.

Researchers from Sydney, Australia, conducted a systematic review to assess health professionals’ experience of FGM/C in their clinical setting, their knowledge of FGM/C types, complications of the practice, and their access to education and training.

They found 159 research papers, but the standard was generally poor. Only 18 studies met their inclusion criteria, and none met all eight quality criteria. …

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“FGM must now be reported but reinfibulation guidance is needed”

FREENurs Times. 2015 Mar 4-10;111(10):7.

“FGM must now be reported but reinfibulation guidance is needed”

Richens Y

EXTRACT

Since its inception, it has lobbied for a confidential national reporting system.

There were two reasons for this: the first is that as a group of clinicians, we could not provide effective evidence-based care for women if we did not know how many women had been subject to this abhorrent procedure; the second is that we wanted to provide clinical education for midwives, nurses, health visitors and doctors so that the best care can be provided to women.

With the support of Baroness Rendell, who has been raising questions in the House of Lords for nearly two decades, we met with Jane Ellison MP. It was a real meeting of minds and it was clear that, from this meeting, we would finally make progress when she agreed that it was nigh on impossible for us to address a problem in the UK without knowing the true extent of it….

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Royal college strengthens its guideline on female genital mutilation

BMJ. 2015 Jul 9;351:h3709. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h3709.

Royal college strengthens its guideline on female genital mutilation.

Torjesen I

EXTRACT

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has revised its guideline on female genital mutilation to clarify healthcare professionals’ legal responsibilities, the requirements to notify cases, and the management of women who have undergone mutilation who are pregnant or giving birth.

The update comes after the first attempted UK prosecution of a doctor for female genital mutilation. Dhanuson Dharmasena, a trainee registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Whittington Hospital in north London, was acquitted earlier this year...

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Voices – Join forces to help stop female genital mutilation, says Jane Cummings

Nurs Stand. 2015 Aug 12;29(50):24. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.50.24.s24.

Voices – Join forces to help stop female genital mutilation, says Jane Cummings.

Cummings J

ABSTRACT

At this time of year, some young girls may be taken abroad to undergo female genital mutilation.

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FGM: dispelling the myths; exploring the facts

Pract Midwife. 2015 Jul-Aug;18(7):18-20.

FGM: dispelling the myths; exploring the facts.

Dixon-Wright R.

ABSTRACT

Female genital mutilation is a process that affects our practice. It is becoming more common in our ever-diversifying population and therefore education is vitally important to be able to put robust care plans in place. Understanding the psychological and physical difficulties experienced by women of childbearing age can help us to improve the care that we, as maternity healthcare professionals, can deliver. Looking at current research, this article examines some of the presumed cultural and societal beliefs behind the procedure and highlights some new evidence that change is welcomed by women and their families.

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Government seeks views on FGM reporting

Nurs Times. 2014 Dec 17-2015 Jan 13;110(51):9.

Government seeks views on FGM reporting.

[No authors listed]

No ABSTRACT is available for this article.

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Improve reporting of female genital mutilation, MPs tell doctors

BMJ. 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1467 (Published 18 March 2015)

Improve reporting of female genital mutilation, MPs tell doctors

O’Dowd

EXTRACT

Doctors must be encouraged to report cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) to tackle what is still a woefully under-reported crime, MPs have claimed.

In a report1 based on their follow-up inquiry on FGM published by the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee on 14 March, MPs said that “buck passing” for failure to prosecute the crime had to stop…

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Surgeon acquitted of carrying out female genital mutilation in a prosecution criticised by obstetricians

BMJ. 2015, 350, h703

Surgeon acquitted of carrying out female genital mutilation in a prosecution criticised by obstetricians

Dyer C

EXTRACT

An NHS trainee obstetrician who faced the first prosecution in the United Kingdom for female genital mutilation has been acquitted after the jury deliberated for less than half an hour.

Dhanuson Dharmasena, then a junior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Whittington Hospital in north London, was accused of reinfibulating a Somali woman by sewing her labia together after the birth of her first child in 2012. But he told the jury that he had put only a small suture at the top of a cut he had made to deliver the baby, to stop bleeding, in an emergency situation.

The verdict of not guilty came after Mr Justice Sweeney, who presided over the 13 day trial at Southwark Crown Court, told the jury in his summing up that they would have to consider whether the doctor had been made a “scapegoat” …

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Female genital cutting

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2014 Aug;36(8):671-2.FREE

Female genital cutting

Kotaska A, Avery L

Comment in J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2014 Aug;36(8):672.

EXTRACT

Female genital cutting (FGC) is unethical. It causes physical, psychological, and emotional harm, and is rarely performed with consent. SOGC Clinical Practice Guideline no. 299 on FGC outlines this argument well.1 However, re-infibulation is inappropriately bundled together with FGC. Re-infibulation is fundamentally different, surgically and ethically, from FGC. The two need to be examined independently, particularly since the guideline prohibits re-infibulation…

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