Medical mistrust among women with intersecting marginalized identities: a scoping review

Ethn Health. 2022 Nov;27(8):1733-1751. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2021.1990220. Epub 2021 Oct 14.


The purpose of this scoping review is to synthesize knowledge about medical mistrust and health among women who occupy other marginalized identities; namely women who also belong to one or more of the following social groups: people of color, people of low socioeconomic status, people with disabilities, lesbian and bisexual women, and/or women who have sex with women. This scoping review is based on the methodological framework by Arksey and O'Malley (2005. "Scoping Studies: Towards a Methodological Framework." International Journal of Social Research Methodology 8: 19-32. doi:10.1080/1364557032000119616). Specific search terms were entered into selected databases. Based on a set of inclusion criteria, articles were screened and assessed for eligibility. Data from the selected articles were extracted and summarized. Forty studies were included. Thirty-one studies used quantitative methodology, of which more than half used the Group-Based Medical Mistrust Scale. The majority of studies (84%) investigated the intersection of gender with race and ethnicity. Breast cancer and HIV combined accounted for more than half of the included studies. Of those studies that examined the relationship between medical mistrust and a health outcome or health behavior, almost all reported that medical mistrust had a deleterious impact. Medical mistrust among women with intersecting marginalized identities is worthy of further study, and there is still a dearth of knowledge in the role of medical mistrust among a wide range of subgroups of women and health domains.

Keywords: Medical mistrust; intersectionality; marginalized identities; women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Research Design
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Trust*