Diana Dowdy

Diana Dowdy

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, USA

Title: Emotional needs of teens with polycystic ovary syndrome


Diana Dowdy completed her Master of Nursing from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is a Clinical Instructor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is a certified nurse-midwife and a registered diagnostic sonographer with over 33 years of clinical and teaching experience. Having served on state and national boards, she currently serves as Vice Chair to the ARDMS Task Force for Midwifery testing. She has published many peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, and published a patient guide entitled, PCOS: A Guidebook for Teens.


Teens with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have serious health issues that impact them on multiple levels – hormonal concerns affecting female health and future fertility, disfiguring body changes causing self image problems and lifelong health consequences related to metabolic disorders. This is superimposed on the normal teenage developmental challenges, often causing extra emotional burden for the teen with PCOS. Healthcare providers are now beginning to understand underlying pathophysiologic processes and make earlier diagnoses in the 6-10% of teens with this disorder. However, the profound psychological and social needs are often inadequately recognized by healthcare providers, causing many teens turn to peers and the internet for guidance and support. Practitioners need to explore ways to address these needs in clinical settings. This presentation explores both review of literature on this timely topic, as well as real-world experience of those who struggle with the complications of this disorder. A model of care is presented to help identify and address learning and emotional needs in providing a more holistic approach to the teen with PCOS.

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