To explore the cancer information preferences of immigrant women by their level of acculturation we conducted interviews with 34 Spanish-speaking English-as-a-second-language (ESL) women. Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used to look for differences by acculturation. Four themes were identified: What is prevention? What should I do; sources of my cancer information, strategies I use to better understand, and identifying and closing my health knowledge gaps. Acculturation did not differentiate immigrant women's cancer information sources, preferences, or strategies used to address language barriers. We suggest the effect of acculturation is neither direct nor simple and may reflect other factors including self-efficacy.
In 2007, a Filipina organization in Quebec (PINAY) sought the help of university researchers to document the workplace health and safety experiences of domestic workers. Together, they surveyed 150 domestic workers and produced a report that generated interest from community groups, policy-makers, and the media. In this article, we-the university researchers-offer a case study of community-university action research. We share the story of how one project contributed to academic knowledge of domestic workers' health and safety experiences and also to a related policy campaign. We describe how Quebec workers' compensation legislation excludes domestic workers, and we analyze the occupational health literature related to domestic work. Striking data related to workplace accidents and illnesses emerged from the survey, and interesting lessons were learned about how occupational health questions should be posed. We conclude with a description of the successful policy advocacy that was possible as an outcome of this project.
In Canada, First Nations women are far less likely to breastfeed than other women. First Nations people have been subjected to massive health and social disparities and are at the lowest end of the scale on every measure of well-being. The purpose of this study is to understand the experiences, strengths, and challenges of breastfeeding for First Nations women. Central to the current research is the notion of an embodiment within indigenous women's health and, more specifically, breastfeeding perspectives.
Guided by an indigenous feminist standpoint, our research study evolved through honest discussions and is informed by relevant public health literature on breastfeeding. We collected quantitative data through a survey on demographics and feeding practices, and we conducted focus groups in three Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario) over a period of 1 year (2010) from 65 women in seven First Nation communities.
Three overarching themes are discussed: social factors, including perceptions of self; breastfeeding environments; and intimacy, including the contribution of fathers. The main findings are that breastfeeding is conducive to bed sharing, whereas a history of residential school attendance, physical and psychological trauma, evacuations for childbirth, and teen pregnancy are obstacles to breastfeeding. Also, fathers play a pivotal role in a woman's decision to breastfeed.
Findings from this study contribute to informing public health by reconsidering simplistic health promotion and public health policies and, instead, educating First Nations communities about the complexity of factors associated with multiple breastfeeding environments.
The construct of Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) has been conceptualized as a subcategory of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is composed of the following symptoms: (a) re-experiencing the battering as if it were reoccurring even when it is not, (b) attempts to avoid the psychological impact of battering by avoiding activities, people, and emotions, (c) hyperarousal or hypervigilance, (d) disrupted interpersonal relationships, (e) body image distortion or other somatic concerns, and (f) sexuality and intimacy issues. This article presents empirical data derived from administering the Battered Woman Syndrome Questionnaire (BWSQ) to women of four countries--United States, Spain, Greece, and Russia. The data support a theory of BWS.
Understanding the beliefs and knowledge related to women's sexuality is important when working with unique religious groups in order to provide culturally appropriate care. An exploratory, descriptive qualitative study generated knowledge, beliefs, and practices related to menstruation, ovulation, and family planning among Low German-speaking (LGS) Mennonite women (n = 38). There is a pervasive silence that surrounds sexuality among this group, who have a limited understanding of the physiological changes they experience. Honoring religious principles and family and community expectations through acceptable female behavior is essential. Adherence to religious principles varies by family but is not shared with the group to avoid disfavor.
Data relative to breast cancer among American Indian and Alaska native (AI/AN) women are limited and vary by regions. Despite national decreases in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates, declines in these measures have not yet appeared among AI/AN women. Health disparities in breast cancer persist, manifest by higher stage at diagnosis, and lower screening rates compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Disproportionately more AI/AN are younger at diagnosis. Screening beginning at age 40, improving access, annual rescreening, community education and outreach, and mobile mammography for rural areas are ways to improve these disparities in breast cancer.
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, and their survival rate is the lowest of all racial/ethnic groups. Nevertheless, knowledge of AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices and their correlates is limited. METHODS: Using the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, we 1) compared the breast cancer screening practices of AI/AN women to other groups and 2) explored the association of several factors known or thought to influence AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices. FINDINGS: Compared with other races, AI/AN women had the lowest rate of mammogram screening (ever and within the past 2 years). For clinical breast examination receipt, Asian women had the lowest rate, followed by AI/AN women. Factors associated with AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices included older age, having a high school diploma or some college education, receipt of a Pap test within the past 3 years, and having visited a doctor within the past year. CONCLUSION: Significant differences in breast cancer screening practices were noted between races, with AI/AN women often having significantly lower rates. Integrating these epidemiologic findings into effective policy and practice requires additional applied research initiatives.
To assess Canadian obstetrics and gynaecology residents' knowledge of and experience in Indigenous women's health (IWH), including a self-assessment of competency, and to assess the ability of residency program directors to provide a curriculum in IWH and to assess the resources available to support this initiative.
Surveys for residents and for program directors were distributed to all accredited obstetrics and gynaecology residency programs in Canada. The resident survey consisted of 20 multiple choice questions in four key areas: general knowledge regarding Indigenous peoples in Canada; the impact of the residential school system; clinical experience in IWH; and a self-assessment of competency in IWH. The program director survey included an assessment of the content of the curriculum in IWH and of the resources available to support this curriculum.
Residents have little background knowledge of IWH and the determinants of health, and are aware of their knowledge gap. Residents are interested in IWH and recognize the importance of IWH training for their future practice. Program directors support the development of an IWH curriculum, but they lack the resources to provide a comprehensive IWH curriculum and would benefit from having a standardized curriculum available.
A nationwide curriculum initiative may be an effective way to facilitate the provision of education in IWH while decreasing the need for resources in individual programs.
Within contemporary health care, increases in chronic disease have necessitated a disease management focus. Given that chronic disease is managed, more so than cured, there are increased demands for greater participation by health care consumers and they are expectated to take on increased responsibility for self-care. The emphasis on consumer responsibility has increased the significance of health-promoting behavior change in contending with contemporary health care concerns. In Canada, the reported inequity in health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians further emphasizes the need for innovative health strategies. For Aboriginal women isolated by geography, changing societal norms (e.g., women working outside of the home, single parent families), and cultural distinction, online chat participation serves as a novel medium for the provision of health knowledge, support, and motivation within a virtual "neighborhood." Recognizing the significance of social support in the promotion of positive health behavior change, we investigated the theme of social support within health conversations among Aboriginal women participating in an online chat room. Content analysis was the primary methodological focus within a mixed methods approach. Of 101 health-based online conversations, the majority reflected one of three forms of social support: (1) emotional support, (2) informational support, or (3) instrumental support. The value of social support and social cohesion within health has been well documented. The current investigation suggests that "community" need not be physically constructed; virtual communities offer great potential for social cohesion around the issues of health and health care.
The magnitude of chronic conditions and risk factors among American Indian/Alaska Native women of reproductive age is unknown. The objective of our study was to estimate this magnitude.
We analyzed data for 2,821 American Indian/Alaska Native women and 105,664 non-Hispanic white women aged 18 to 44 years from the 2005 and 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We examined prevalence of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, body mass index (kg/m(2)) =25.0, physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and frequent mental distress, and the cumulative number of these chronic conditions and risk factors (=3, 2, 1, or 0). In a multivariable, multinomial logistic regression model, we examined whether American Indian/Alaska Native race was associated with the cumulative number of chronic conditions and risk factors.
American Indian/Alaska Native women, compared with white women, had significantly higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and frequent mental distress. Of American Indian/Alaska Native women, 41% had 3 or more chronic conditions or risk factors compared with 27% of white women (?(2), P