Intern Emerg Med. 2022 Aug 6. doi: 10.1007/s11739-022-03049-y. Online ahead of print.
Biological sex and sociocultural gender matter when it comes to health and diseases. They have been both proposed as the undeniable gateways towards a personalized approach in care delivery. The Gender Working Group of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI) was funded in 2019 with the aim of promoting good practice in the integration of sex and gender domains in clinical studies. Starting from a narrative literature review and based on regular meetings which led to a shared virtual discussion during the national SIMI congress in 2021, the members of the WG provided a core operational framework to be applied by internal medicine (IM) specialists to understand and implement their daily activity as researchers and clinicians. The SIMI Gender ‘5 Ws’ Rule for clinical studies has been conceptualized as follows: Who (Clinical Internal Medicine Scientists and Practitioners), What (Gender-related Variables-Gender Core Dataset), Where (Clinical Studies/Translational Research), When (Every Time It Makes Sense) and Why (Explanatory Power of Gender and Opportunities). In particular, the gender core dataset was identified by the following domains (variables to collect accordingly): relations (marital status, social support, discrimination); roles (occupation, caregiver status, household responsibility, primary earner, household dimension); institutionalized gender (education level, personal income, living in rural vs urban areas); and gender identity (validated questionnaires on personality traits). The SIMI Gender ‘5 Ws’ Rule is a simple and easy conceptual framework that will guide IM for the design and analysis of clinical studies.
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