The purpose of the study was to analyze how Swedish midwives (n = 26) discuss sexuality in circumcised African women patients. In focus groups and interviews, discussions concentrated on care provided to circumcised women, training received for this care, and midwives' perceptions of female circumcision. An analytic expansion was performed for discussions pertaining to sexuality and gender roles. Results from the analysis show the following: (1) ethnocentric projections of sexuality; (2) a knowledge paradox regarding circumcision and sexuality; (3) the view of the powerless circumcised women; and (4) the fact that maternity wards function as meeting places between gender and culture where the encounters with men allow masculine hegemonic norms to be ruptured. We conclude that an increased understanding of cultural epistemology is needed to ensure quality care. The encounters that take place in obstetrical care situations can provide a space where gender and culture as prescribed norms can be questioned.
Black women bear a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS in North America. The purpose of this investigation was to explore Black Canadian women's perspectives on HIV risk and prevention. Four 90-minute focus groups (n=26) and six key informant interviews were conducted in Toronto with Black women of African and Caribbean descent and low socioeconomic status. Data analysis revealed a number of potent barriers to existing HIV preventive interventions: stigma, cultural disconnections, lack of engagement of Black religious institutions, and multiple intersecting forms of discrimination. Recommended HIV prevention opportunities included the Black church, mainstreaming, health care providers, and ethno-specific agencies. HIV prevention strategies for North American Black women, rather than focusing on HIV and individual risk behaviors, may benefit from a primary focus on social and structural factors (e.g., promoting gender equality, economic opportunity, women-controlled prevention technologies and combating racism in health care) thereby integrating HIV prevention into the larger context of community health and survival.
The future availability of HIV vaccines can increase options available to Canadian Black women for risk reduction. However, current conceptual frameworks do not adequately address barriers to HIV prevention for this population, and may be inadequate to address challenges with vaccines. This study explored knowledge and attitudes regarding HIV vaccines and associated prevention methods to inform appropriate conceptual frameworks for their dissemination to Canadian Black women. We completed four 90-min focus groups with women (n=26) of African or Caribbean origins, and six interviews with key informants providing health and social services in the Black communities of Toronto. The participants suggested that there were significant risks associated with seeking prevention information and attempting to reduce exposure to HIV infection. They described individual, familial, community and institutional domains of risk and predicted the same spectrum of risk for HIV vaccines. Participants advocated for education, empowerment and institutional change to create a supportive environment for vaccines and other HIV prevention methods. They further indicated that preparation for vaccine dissemination will need to prioritize building trust between women of the Black communities and institutions in the research, health and government sectors.
A qualitative study was conducted to identify psychosocial barriers to providing and obtaining preventive dental care for preschool children among African recent immigrants.
Seven focus groups were conducted with 48 mothers of 3- to 5-year-old children from Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Somali communities in Edmonton. Participants had lived in Canada for 5 years or less. Three debriefing interviews were conducted with the community health workers who facilitated the focus groups in participants' first languages. Data analysis consisted of assigning codes, grouping codes into existing or new categories of barriers, grouping identified categories into domains, and organizing categories and domains around a general perspective of psychosocial barriers to prevention of caries.
Barriers to prevention of early childhood caries (ECC) were associated with home-based prevention, early detection, and access to professional care. Barriers to parental prevention were related to health beliefs, knowledge, oral health approach, and skills. Barriers to early detection included perceived role of caregivers and dentists, perceived identity of ECC, ways of detecting cavities, and parental self-efficacy. Access barriers were related to parental knowledge of preventive services, attitudes toward dentists and dental services, English skills, and external constraints concerned dental insurance, social support, time, and transportation.
Preventive interventions should be aimed at assisting primary caregivers with providing and obtaining adequate dental care for their children through enhancing oral health literacy, developing new set of oral health-related skills, reducing environmental constraints, and strengthening their intention of obtaining professional preventive dental services.
In this paper, I examine the mastery of mothering skills and satisfaction with associated health services in women who had recently given birth in Montreal (n = 33). I compare experience between women of two distinct ethnocultural groups: Anglophone Euro-Canadian and Anglophone Afro-Caribbean. The overall aim is to discern differentials in the mastery of mothering skills and associated satisfaction with maternal and child health services. The study is framed by neo-Weberian social theory suggesting that modernization and bureaucratization increasingly eviscerate everyday skills and knowledge. These processes also lead to changes regarding what is considered credible 'authoritative knowledge.' I found that older Anglophone Euro-Canadians expressed the greatest skill deficits. They attempted to redress these deficits through consultation of professionally authored books, medical Web sites and health professionals. Older Anglophone Euro-Canadians saw these resources as sources of 'authoritative knowledge.' They also expressed dissatisfaction with related health services. In contrast, Anglophone Afro-Caribbeans and younger lower-income Anglophone Euro-Canadians expressed satisfaction with their skills. This derived from widespread previous experience with children and more extensive and readily available kith and kin networks. These were considered sources of 'authoritative knowledge' in this group. This group expressed less dissatisfaction with health services, as they did not need, or expect, these services to redress skill deficits.