Patience Afulani, PhD, MD, MPH

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address550 16th. Street
San Francisco CA 94158
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of Ghana, AccraMBChB2007University of Ghana Medical School
    University of California, Los Angeles, CAMPH2011School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences Dept.
    University of California, Los Angeles, CAPhD2015School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences Dept.
    University of California, San Francisco, CAPostdoctoral fellowship2018Preterm Birth Initiative
    University of California, San Francisco, CA2019Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCSF School of Medicine2020Watson Faculty Scholar
    Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program2020Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow
    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 developing an intervention to improve person-centered maternal health care in Kenya with a focus on provider stress and unconscious bias; examining drivers of poor PCMC in Ghana; adaptation of the PCMC scale for women of color in California; and examining healthcare workers' perceived preparedness for COVID-19 and associated factors in Ghana and Kenya.

    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
    Addressing Provider Stress and Unconscious Bias to Improve Quality of Maternal Health Care
    NIH/NICHD 4R00HD093798-03Sep 1, 2020 - Aug 31, 2023
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Health care providers' preparedness to manage COVID-19 in Ghana
    UCSF COVID-19 Related Rapid Research Pilot Initiative 2016796Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Understanding the drivers of poor person-centered maternal health care (PCMC) in Ghana
    UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health P0547725Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Re-Visioning Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmOnC)
    The Trustees of Columbia University (subcontract) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (prime) P0547725Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2021
    Role: Co-lead for quality of care and experience of care working group
    Interventions to reduce discrimination, bias and stigma in healthcare settings
    Jul 1, 2020 - Mar 31, 2021
    Role: Co-PI
    Adaptation of the Person-Centered Maternity Care scale for women of color in the U.S.
    PTBI-Ca 7027075Sep 1, 2018 - Feb 28, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Addressing Provider Stress and Unconscious Bias to Improve Quality of Maternal Health Care
    NIH/NICHD K99HD093798Jul 10, 2018 - Jun 30, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications
    Collapse Global Health
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse In The News

    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. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Perceived preparedness to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: a study with healthcare workers in Ghana. J Glob Health Sci. 2020; 2:e24. Patience A. Afulani, Akua O. Gyamerah, Raymond A. Aborigo, Jerry John Nutor, Hawa Malechi, Amos Laar, Mona Sterling, and John Koku Awoonor-Williams8.View Publication.
    2. Providers' perceptions of communication and women's autonomy during childbirth: a mixed methods study in Kenya. Reprod Health. 2020 Jun 03; 17(1):85. Afulani PA, Buback L, Kelly AM, Kirumbi L, Cohen CR, Lyndon A. PMID: 32493424.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    3. Providers' perceptions of disrespect and abuse during childbirth: a mixed-methods study in Kenya. Health Policy Plan. 2020 Jun 01; 35(5):577-586. Afulani PA, Kelly AM, Buback L, Asunka J, Kirumbi L, Lyndon A. PMID: 32154878.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    
    4. A Rapid Review of Available Evidence to Inform Indicators for Routine Monitoring and Evaluation of Respectful Maternity Care. Glob Health Sci Pract. 2020 03 30; 8(1):125-135. Afulani PA, Buback L, McNally B, Mbuyita S, Mwanyika-Sando M, Peca E. PMID: 32234844.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    5. Provider knowledge and perceptions following an integrated simulation training on emergency obstetric and neonatal care and respectful maternity care: A mixed-methods study in Ghana. Midwifery. 2020 Jun; 85:102667. Afulani PA, Dyer J, Calkins K, Aborigo RA, Mcnally B, Cohen SR. PMID: 32114318.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    6. Association between person-centered maternity care and newborn complications in Kenya. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Jan; 148(1):27-34. Sudhinaraset M, Landrian A, Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Golub G. PMID: 31544243.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Accountability for respectful maternity care. Lancet. 2019 11 09; 394(10210):1692-1693. Afulani PA, Moyer CA. PMID: 31604661.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. 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. Afulani PA, Buback L, Essandoh F, Kinyua J, Kirumbi L, Cohen CR. PMID: 31590662.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. 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. Sudhinaraset M, Giessler K, Golub G, Afulani P. PMID: 31182105.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Toward the development of a short multi-country person-centered maternity care scale. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2019 Jul; 146(1):80-87. Afulani PA, Feeser K, Sudhinaraset M, Aborigo R, Montagu D, Chakraborty N. PMID: 31004349.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Measuring what matters for maternal and newborn health. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 05; 7(5):e544-e545. Diamond-Smith N, Afulani P. PMID: 30898496.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. 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. P Afulani, R Aborigo, S Cohen, C Moyer, D Walker, J Williams. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    13. 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. Afulani PA, Aborigo RA, Walker D, Moyer CA, Cohen S, Williams J. PMID: 30680785.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    14. 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. Afulani PA, Phillips B, Aborigo RA, Moyer CA. PMID: 30554766.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. 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. Patience A. Afulani, Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Dena Herman. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    16. Politics and Public Service Provision in Africa’s New Democracies. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. 2018 Sep 1; 31(3):207-227. Joseph Asunka, Patience A. Afulani. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    17. Validation of the person-centered maternity care scale in India. Reprod Health. 2018 Aug 29; 15(1):147. Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Phillips B, Singhal S, Sudhinaraset M. PMID: 30157877.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Development of a Person-Centered Family Planning Scale in India and Kenya. Stud Fam Plann. 2018 09; 49(3):237-258. Sudhinaraset M, Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Golub G, Srivastava A. PMID: 30069983.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. 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. Afulani PA, Sayi TS, Montagu D. PMID: 29751805.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. 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. Afulani P, Kusi C, Kirumbi L, Walker D. PMID: 29747593.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. 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. Afulani PA, Kirumbi L, Lyndon A. PMID: 29284490.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Conceptualizing pathways linking women's empowerment and prematurity in developing countries. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Nov 08; 17(Suppl 2):338. Afulani PA, Altman M, Musana J, Sudhinaraset M. PMID: 29143627.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. 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. Sudhinaraset M, Afulani P, Diamond-Smith N, Bhattacharyya S, Donnay F, Montagu D. PMID: 29355215.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    24. 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. Afulani PA, Diamond-Smith N, Golub G, Sudhinaraset M. PMID: 28938885.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    25. 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. Afulani PA, Torres JM, Sudhinaraset M, Asunka J. PMID: 27639482.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Political accountability and public service provision in Africa: evidence from Ghana. Annals of Global Health. 2016 Aug 20; 82(3):332-333. J. Asunka, P. Afulani. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    27. 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. Patience A. Afulani, Cheryl Moyer. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    28. Determinants of stillbirths in Ghana: does quality of antenatal care matter? BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 06 02; 16(1):132. Afulani PA. PMID: 27255155.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Explaining Disparities in Use of Skilled Birth Attendants in Developing Countries: A Conceptual Framework. PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0154110. Afulani PA, Moyer C. PMID: 27105309.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. 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. Herman D, Afulani P, Coleman-Jensen A, Harrison GG. PMID: 26270308.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Improve Antenatal Care in Ghana’s Lower-Level Health Facilities. 2015. Afulani PA.. View Publication.
    32. 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. Patience A. Afulani, Joseph Asunka. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    33. Determinants of maternal health and health-seeking behavior in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of quality of care. 2015. Afulani PA.. View Publication.
    34. Deconstructing rural/urban and socioeconomic differentials in quality of antenatal care in Ghana. Annals of Global Health. 2015 Mar 12; 81(1):106. P.A. Afulani. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    35. Rural/urban and socioeconomic differentials in quality of antenatal care in Ghana. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2):e0117996. Afulani PA. PMID: 25695737.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes Among Older Adults: The Role of Cost-Related Medication Underuse. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2015; 34(3):319-42. Afulani P, Herman D, Coleman-Jensen A, Harrison GG. PMID: 26267444.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Using community health workers in community-based growth promotion: what stakeholders think. Health Educ Res. 2012 Dec; 27(6):1005-17. Afulani PA, Awoonor-Williams JK, Opoku EC, Asunka J. PMID: 22791682.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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