Immigrant women's experiences of receiving care in a mobile health clinic

Sepali Guruge, Joanne Hunter, Keegan Barker, Mary Jane McNally, Lilian Magalhães
Journal of Advanced Nursing 2010, 66 (2): 350-9

AIM: This paper is a report of a study of the experiences of Portuguese-speaking immigrant women who used a mobile health clinic for their reproductive health care.

BACKGROUND: Upon arrival in Canada, immigrant women often are in better health than their Canadian-born counterparts; however, this health status tends to deteriorate over time. One reason for this change is limited access to services.

METHOD: Data collection during 2004 and 2005 involved individual interviews with seven Portuguese-speaking women who received care in a mobile health clinic in Toronto, Canada, and with four clinic care providers. Non-participant observation of the interaction between clients and care providers was also conducted. Interviews conducted in Portuguese were translated into English and transcribed, along with those conducted in English. Interview transcripts were read and re-read in the context of observational notes to develop codes. Emerging codes were grouped together to develop subcategories and categories.

FINDINGS: Participants' experiences of accessing and receiving care in the mobile health clinic were shaped by their perceptions of health, which included physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects, and their pre- and postmigration care experiences. As an alternative model of care delivery, the mobile health clinic was perceived by participants to address their care needs and to help overcome postmigration barriers by providing accessible, holistic, and linguistically and culturally appropriate care.

CONCLUSION: Mobile health clinics should be considered as an alternative care delivery model for immigrant women who may be at a disadvantage because of their socio-economic, cultural, and racialized statuses.

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