Cultural Beliefs and Attitudes toward Health and Health Care among Chinese-Born Immigrant Women: A Focused Ethnographic Approach Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Zhao, Meng
    • Affiliation: School of Nursing
  • Chinese-born immigrant women, after immigrating to the United States, encounter cross-cultural challenges regarding their health care practices. These challenges come from their different cultural beliefs, views, and attitudes about health and health care as well as the systematic and structural differences in the health care system between China and the United States. Although a large number of health care professionals have acknowledged the influence of cultural health beliefs on Chinese-born immigrant women's utilization of health care services, current understanding of these women's cultural health beliefs is limited and draws heavily on expert opinions or clinical anecdotes. Little is known about how these women view or perceive health and health care practice in the United States, and how their cultural health beliefs differ from the other ethnic groups or immigrant groups in the United States. Taking the practice of screening mammography as an example, this study applied a focused ethnographic approach to explore Chinese-born immigrant women's health beliefs within the context of the local Chinese community. Through in-depth interviews with 15 Chinese-born immigrant women and participant observation with 11 of them, the findings of this study reinforce and support the previous literature on the conclusion that although Chinese-born immigrant women share some beliefs with the other immigrant groups; they have their unique cultural health beliefs. Findings also add new insights in current understanding of these women's cultural health beliefs. Through socialization, Chinese-born immigrant women are connected and influenced by the community. They mainly referred to their friends or the internet for health information. Therefore, a community-based or internet-based health education program which is culturally competent may be useful in improving Chinese-born immigrant women's use of U.S. health care services. Considering that the participants of this study were recruited in the central North Carolina, the findings are locally applicable but might not be generalized to the Chinese-born immigrant women residing in other U.S. areas. In addition, the findings might not be generalized to other age groups in terms of their cultural health beliefs without cautious examination.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Dr. of Philosophy in the School of Nursing."
  • Esposito, Noreen
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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