Public Release: 

First ever guide to the care of women with disabilities now available

Society for Women's Health Research

Washington, D.C. - While the health care community has grown more sensitive to the health needs of the disabled, very little information is available to guide their competent care. Filling that void is a new resource book for physicians, nurses and other care providers that addresses the unique challenges faced by disabled women who seek routine medical care.

Welner's Guide to the Care of Women with Disabilities, edited by Sandra Welner, M.D., and Florence Haseltine, Ph.D., M.D., offers practical advice on fundamental issues such as physical examination, nutrition, exercise, sexuality, victimization, and access to care, as well information on specific disabilities such as neurological impairment, rheumatologic illness, blindness and deafness.

The book provides guidance on managing medical problems that warrant special consideration in disabled women: pain, osteoporosis, anesthesia, incontinence, infertility, depression and psychotropics, substance abuse and hormonal management.

Welner, the book's chief editor, was a disabled physician who suffered a debilitating stroke while in medical school. She regained her independence after five years of arduous neurological rehabilitation and dedicated her career to improving care for disabled women. She died from accidental causes in 2001.

"Dr. Welner had a vision that persons with disabilities need individualized care," said Haseltine, who founded the Society for Women's Health Research and now serves on its board of directors. "After she became disabled, I knew her as a determined advocate for women's health. This book incorporates her spirit, as well as her ideas."

Almost 30 million women in the United States are disabled, according to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the U.S. Department of Education.

The guide is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Individuals who order the book through the Society for Women's Health Research Web site - - will receive a 10 percent discount.


The Society for Women's Health Research is the nation's only not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of women through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the Society brought to national attention the need for the appropriate inclusion of women in major medical research studies and the need for more information about conditions affecting women disproportionately, predominately, or differently than men. The Society advocates increased funding for research on women's health; encourages the study of sex differences that may affect the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease; promotes the inclusion of women in medical research studies; and informs women, providers, policy makers and media about contemporary women's health issues. Visit the Society's Web site at for more information.

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