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Reproductive health behaviour of Muslim immigrant women in Canada

Reproductive health behaviour of Muslim immigrant women in Canada Purpose – Reproductive health is critically important for women and yet minority women in Canada are less likely to use preventive health care services. The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the health behaviours of this minority population and, in particular, identify barriers to accessing reproductive health care services. Design/methodology/approach – This study qualitatively analysed data from focus group discussions with 22 Muslim immigrant women in Ottawa, Canada. Findings – The theme of modesty emerged as one of the main barriers in the health seeking behaviour of Muslim immigrant women when it comes to reproductive health and, therefore, the gender of the physician was very important. Focus group participants also discussed a preference for family physicians from the same ethnic and cultural background. Adaptation, or the need to be flexible if there was no alternative to a male doctor, emerged as a theme throughout the focus groups. Emergencies were frequently cited as a reason to adapt. Practical implications – The findings reveal that while religious rules do play a predominant role in the health behaviour of Muslim immigrant women, communication by health care providers, government and health agencies can offer strategies to increase the uptake of preventive reproductive care. Originality/value – This study offers unique insights into the very personal experience of reproductive health care through rich, qualitative data. Given the impact of culture and religion on perceptions and practices, in particular related to reproductive health, this study contributes to more effective communication strategies with Muslim women. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care Emerald Publishing

Reproductive health behaviour of Muslim immigrant women in Canada

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1747-9894
DOI
10.1108/IJMHSC-09-2013-0032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Reproductive health is critically important for women and yet minority women in Canada are less likely to use preventive health care services. The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the health behaviours of this minority population and, in particular, identify barriers to accessing reproductive health care services. Design/methodology/approach – This study qualitatively analysed data from focus group discussions with 22 Muslim immigrant women in Ottawa, Canada. Findings – The theme of modesty emerged as one of the main barriers in the health seeking behaviour of Muslim immigrant women when it comes to reproductive health and, therefore, the gender of the physician was very important. Focus group participants also discussed a preference for family physicians from the same ethnic and cultural background. Adaptation, or the need to be flexible if there was no alternative to a male doctor, emerged as a theme throughout the focus groups. Emergencies were frequently cited as a reason to adapt. Practical implications – The findings reveal that while religious rules do play a predominant role in the health behaviour of Muslim immigrant women, communication by health care providers, government and health agencies can offer strategies to increase the uptake of preventive reproductive care. Originality/value – This study offers unique insights into the very personal experience of reproductive health care through rich, qualitative data. Given the impact of culture and religion on perceptions and practices, in particular related to reproductive health, this study contributes to more effective communication strategies with Muslim women.

Journal

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social CareEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 10, 2014

Keywords: Focus Groups; Cultural competence; Health communication; Health behaviour; Muslim immigrant women; Reproductive health

References