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Patience Afulani, PhD, MD, MPH

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, Los AngelesPhD2015School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences Dept.
    University of California, Los AngelesMPH2011School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences Dept.
    University of GhanaMBChB2007University of Ghana Medical School
    University of California, San Francisco, CA2019Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCLA Fielding School of Public Health2015Dean’s Outstanding Student Award
    UCLA Fielding School of Public Health2015Nomination for membership in the IOTA chapter of Delta Omega Honorary Society
    Delta Omega Honorary Society2014Delta Omega Poster Competition Award
    UCLA Public Health Students Association2011Nominee, Teaching Assistant of the year
    University of Ghana Medical School2007Best student in Gynecology Award
    University of Ghana Medical School2007Best student in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology Award
    University of Ghana Medical School 2007Best female student in Obstetrics and Gynecology Award
    University of Ghana Women’s Commission2003Best female student in University of Ghana
    University of Ghana Medical School2002Best Physiology student
    University of Ghana2001Best female Biological Science student
    Ghana Education Service1995Head of State Award, Best student in the Basic Education Certificate Examination, Upper East Region,

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    My research focuses on the social and health system factors underlying disparities in reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health (RMNCH). I am particularly interested in how RMNCH outcomes are shaped by quality of care in health facilities as well as by social determinants. I also seek to contribute to improved measurement of quality of care, particularly person-centered care, and to the development of evidence-based interventions to improve RMNCH outcomes and reduce disparities.

    My PhD dissertation examined sources of disparities in quality of antenatal care and how this affects use of skilled birth attendants and birth outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. My post-doctoral work focused on measurement of person-centered maternity care (PCMC) and family planning; research into sources of disparities in PCMC and barriers to providing PCMC; and design and evaluation of interventions to improve quality of care including PCMC — in Kenya, Ghana, and India. I have also conducted research on the health and reproductive behavior of migrants from Africa, and on the consequences of food insecurity in the United States.

    My current projects include an NICHD K award on addressing provider stress and unconscious bias to improve quality of person-centered maternal health care in Kenya; a UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative grant on measurement of PCMC among women at risk for preterm birth in California; and a Gates-funded project to improve quality of care (including PCMC) through low-tech simulation training of providers in India.

    I obtained my Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) from the University of Ghana Medical School, and an MPH with a certificate in Global Health and a PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. I also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Preterm Birth Initiative at UCSF.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Adaptation of the Person-Centered Maternity Care scale for women of color in the U.S.
    PTBI-Ca RAP grant: 7027075Sep 1, 2018 - Aug 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Addressing Provider Stress and Unconscious Bias to Improve Quality of Maternal Health Care
    NIH/NICHD K99HD093798Jul 10, 2018 - Aug 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Global Health
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse In The News
    Collapse Student Projects

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Afulani PA, Buback L, Essandoh F, Kinyua J, Kirumbi L, Cohen CR. Quality of antenatal care and associated factors in a rural county in Kenya: an assessment of service provision and experience dimensions. BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Oct 07; 19(1):684. PMID: 31590662.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Afulani PA, Moyer CA. Accountability for respectful maternity care. Lancet. 2019 Oct 07. PMID: 31604661.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Sudhinaraset M, Landrian A, Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Golub G. Association between person-centered maternity care and newborn complications in Kenya. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2019 Sep 23. PMID: 31544243.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Sudhinaraset M, Giessler K, Golub G, Afulani P. Providers and women's perspectives on person-centered maternity care: a mixed methods study in Kenya. Int J Equity Health. 2019 06 10; 18(1):83. PMID: 31182105.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Afulani PA, Feeser K, Sudhinaraset M, Aborigo R, Montagu D, Chakraborty N. Toward the development of a short multi-country person-centered maternity care scale. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2019 Jul; 146(1):80-87. PMID: 31004349.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Diamond-Smith N, Afulani P. Measuring what matters for maternal and newborn health. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 May; 7(5):e544-e545. PMID: 30898496.
      View in: PubMed
    7. P Afulani, R Aborigo, S Cohen, C Moyer, D Walker, J Williams. Can integrated clinical simulation trainings improve person-centred maternity care? Results from a pilot project in Ghana. The Lancet Global Health. 2019 Mar 1; 7:s47.
      View in: Publisher Site
    8. Afulani PA, Aborigo RA, Walker D, Moyer CA, Cohen S, Williams J. Can an integrated obstetric emergency simulation training improve respectful maternity care? Results from a pilot study in Ghana. Birth. 2019 09; 46(3):523-532. PMID: 30680785.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Afulani PA, Phillips B, Aborigo RA, Moyer CA. Person-centred maternity care in low-income and middle-income countries: analysis of data from Kenya, Ghana, and India. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 Jan; 7(1):e96-e109. PMID: 30554766.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Patience A. Afulani, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Dena Herman. Food insecurity, mental health, and use of mental health services among nonelderly adults in the United States. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2018 Oct 29; 1-22.
      View in: Publisher Site
    11. Joseph Asunka, Patience A. Afulani. Politics and Public Service Provision in Africa’s New Democracies. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. 2018 Sep 1; 31(3):207-227.
      View in: Publisher Site
    12. Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Phillips B, Singhal S, Sudhinaraset M. Validation of the person-centered maternity care scale in India. Reprod Health. 2018 Aug 29; 15(1):147. PMID: 30157877.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Sudhinaraset M, Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Golub G, Srivastava A. Development of a Person-Centered Family Planning Scale in India and Kenya. Stud Fam Plann. 2018 09; 49(3):237-258. PMID: 30069983.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Afulani PA, Sayi TS, Montagu D. Predictors of person-centered maternity care: the role of socioeconomic status, empowerment, and facility type. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 05 11; 18(1):360. PMID: 29751805.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Afulani P, Kusi C, Kirumbi L, Walker D. Companionship during facility-based childbirth: results from a mixed-methods study with recently delivered women and providers in Kenya. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018 May 10; 18(1):150. PMID: 29747593.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Afulani PA, Kirumbi L, Lyndon A. What makes or mars the facility-based childbirth experience: thematic analysis of women's childbirth experiences in western Kenya. Reprod Health. 2017 Dec 29; 14(1):180. PMID: 29284490.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Afulani PA, Altman M, Musana J, Sudhinaraset M. Conceptualizing pathways linking women's empowerment and prematurity in developing countries. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Nov 08; 17(Suppl 2):338. PMID: 29143627.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Sudhinaraset M, Afulani P, Diamond-Smith N, Bhattacharyya S, Donnay F, Montagu D. Advancing a conceptual model to improve maternal health quality: The Person-Centered Care Framework for Reproductive Health Equity. Gates Open Res. 2017 Nov 06; 1:1. PMID: 29355215.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Golub G, Sudhinaraset M. Development of a tool to measure person-centered maternity care in developing settings: validation in a rural and urban Kenyan population. Reprod Health. 2017 Sep 22; 14(1):118. PMID: 28938885.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Afulani PA, Torres JM, Sudhinaraset M, Asunka J. Transnational ties and the health of sub-Saharan African migrants: The moderating role of gender and family separation. Soc Sci Med. 2016 11; 168:63-71. PMID: 27639482.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Patience A. Afulani, Cheryl Moyer. Explaining disparities in use of skilled birth attendants in developing countries: a new conceptual framework. Annals of Global Health. 2016 Aug 20; 82(3):375.
      View in: Publisher Site
    22. J. Asunka, P. Afulani. Political accountability and public service provision in Africa: evidence from Ghana. Annals of Global Health. 2016 Aug 20; 82(3):332-333.
      View in: Publisher Site
    23. Afulani PA. Determinants of stillbirths in Ghana: does quality of antenatal care matter? BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 06 02; 16(1):132. PMID: 27255155.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Afulani PA, Moyer C. Explaining Disparities in Use of Skilled Birth Attendants in Developing Countries: A Conceptual Framework. PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0154110. PMID: 27105309.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Herman D, Afulani P, Coleman-Jensen A, Harrison GG. Food Insecurity and Cost-Related Medication Underuse Among Nonelderly Adults in a Nationally Representative Sample. Am J Public Health. 2015 Oct; 105(10):e48-59. PMID: 26270308.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Afulani PA.. Improve Antenatal Care in Ghana’s Lower-Level Health Facilities. 2015.
    27. Patience A. Afulani, Joseph Asunka. Socialization, Adaptation, Transnationalism, and the Reproductive Behavior of Sub-Saharan African Migrants in France. Population Research and Policy Review. 2015 Aug 1; 34(4):561-592.
      View in: Publisher Site
    28. Afulani PA.. Determinants of maternal health and health-seeking behavior in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of quality of care. 2015.
    29. P.A. Afulani. Deconstructing rural/urban and socioeconomic differentials in quality of antenatal care in Ghana. Annals of Global Health. 2015 Mar 12; 81(1):106.
      View in: Publisher Site
    30. Afulani PA. Rural/urban and socioeconomic differentials in quality of antenatal care in Ghana. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0117996. PMID: 25695737.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Afulani P, Herman D, Coleman-Jensen A, Harrison GG. Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes Among Older Adults: The Role of Cost-Related Medication Underuse. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2015; 34(3):319-42. PMID: 26267444.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Afulani PA, Awoonor-Williams JK, Opoku EC, Asunka J. Using community health workers in community-based growth promotion: what stakeholders think. Health Educ Res. 2012 Dec; 27(6):1005-17. PMID: 22791682.
      View in: PubMed