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A gender matter

Introduction to the “Gender” issue of Forward

Antonio Addis

Department of Epidemiology Lazio Regional Healthcare, Rome 1 Local Health Authority (ASL)

By October 2021February 13th, 2023No Comments
Photo by Claudio Colotti

The Forward workgroup ventured into yet another debate on a much discussed and almost unexplored topic.

The term “gender” does not refer to a specialised branch of medicine but rather an area that interconnects with every clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic context. Yet we know very little about the different ways gender might impact treatment and support provision, and access to old and new therapies. Often medical research pays too little attention to this aspect, which cannot just be considered one of the many factors “impacting” final efficacy and safety outcomes.

To Forward, dedicating an entire issue to this topic means emphasising again the decision to adopt an original outlook on healthcare, whereby the phenomena that will be influencing future medicine are viewed as complex and never fully “binary”.

This is not just about promoting greater women’s presence in clinical trials in order to avoid getting results that are then increasingly harder to apply to the wider population. It is also about promoting a less obvious way of thinking about healthcare interventions and patient management.

Over time well-known issues that have never been truly dealt with usually turn into “matters”. I think that in the context of future healthcare we should not think about this topic as a new medical specialty but as a gender matter.