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1.  Immigrant women’s experiences of postpartum depression in Canada: a protocol for systematic review using a narrative synthesis 
Systematic Reviews  2013;2:65.
Background
Literature documents that immigrant women in Canada have a higher prevalence of postpartum depression symptomatology than Canadian-born women. There exists a need to synthesize information on the contextual factors and social determinants of health that influence immigrant women’s reception of and behavior in accessing existing mental health services. Our research question is: what are the ethnoculturally defined patterns of help-seeking behaviors and decision-making and other predictive factors for therapeutic mental health care access and outcomes with respect to postpartum depression for immigrant women in Canada?
Methods/design
Our synthesis incorporates a systematic review using narrative synthesis of reports (peer- and non-peer reviewed) of empirical research and aims to provide stakeholders with perspectives on postpartum mental health care services as experienced by immigrant women. To reach this goal we are using integrated knowledge translation, thus partnering with key stakeholders throughout the planning, implementation and dissemination stages to ensure topic relevancy and impact on future practice and policy. The search and selection strategies draw upon established systematic review methodologies as outlined by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination and also incorporate guidelines for selection and appraisal of gray literature. Two search phases (a database and a gray literature phase) will identify literature for screening and final selection based on an inclusion/exclusion checklist. Quality appraisal will be performed using the tools produced by the Centre for Evidence Based Management. The narrative synthesis will be informed by Popay et al. (2006) framework using identified tools for each of its four elements. The integrated knowledge translation plan will ensure key messages are delivered in an audience-specific manner to optimize their impact on policy and practice change throughout health service, public health, immigration and community sectors.
Discussion
The narrative synthesis methodology will facilitate understandings and acknowledgement of the broader influences of theoretical and contextual variables, such as race, gender, socio-economic status, pre-migration history and geographical location. Our review aims to have a substantive and sustainable impact on health outcomes, practice, programs and/or policy in the context of postpartum mental health of immigrant women. PROSPERO registration number CRD42012003020.
doi:10.1186/2046-4053-2-65
PMCID: PMC3765819  PMID: 23965183
Narrative synthesis; Immigrant women; Postpartum depression; Maternity care experiences; Canada; Systematic review protocol
2.  Sociocultural and linguistic boundaries influencing intercultural communication between nurses and Moroccan patients in southern Spain: a focused ethnography 
BMC Nursing  2013;12:14.
Background
During the last 25 years, cultural diversity has increased substantially with global migration. In more recent years this has become highly evident in the south of Spain with its steadily increasing Moroccan population. The accompanying differences in ethnocultural values and traditions between the host and newcomer populations may greatly impact healthcare interactions and thus also effective provision of care. This landscape provides for excellent exploration of intercultural communication in healthcare settings and elucidation of possible ways to overcome existing barriers to provision of culturally competent care by nurses. This study aimed to ascertain how nurses perceive their intercultural communication with Moroccan patients and what barriers are evident which may be preventing effective communication and care.
Methods
A focused ethnography was conducted with semi-structured interviews of 32 nurses in three public hospitals in southern Spain. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim before undergoing translation and back-translation between Spanish and English. Data was managed, classified and ordered with the aid of AQUAD.6 (Günter L. Huber, Tübingen, Germany) qualitative data analysis software.
Results
As an important dimension of cultural competence, findings from the interviews with nurses in this study were interpreted within the framework of intercultural communication. Various barriers, for which we have termed “boundaries”, seem to exist preventing effective communication between nurses and their patients. The substantial language barrier seems to negatively affect communication. Relations between the nurses and their Moroccan patients are also marked by prejudices and social stereotypes which likely compromise the provision of culturally appropriate care.
Conclusions
The language barrier may compromise nursing care delivery and could be readily overcome by implementation of professional interpretation within the hospital settings. Moreover, it is essential that the nurses of southern Spain are educated in the provision of culturally appropriate and sensitive care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-12-14
PMCID: PMC3669007  PMID: 23705680
Intercultural communication; Cultural competency in nursing; Immigration in Spain; Moroccan immigrants
3.  “I have to do what I believe”: Sudanese women’s beliefs and resistance to hegemonic practices at home and during experiences of maternity care in Canada 
Background
Evidence suggests that immigrant women having different ethnocultural backgrounds than those dominant in the host country have difficulty during their access to and reception of maternity care services, but little knowledge exists on how factors such as ethnic group and cultural beliefs intersect and influence health care access and outcomes. Amongst immigrant populations in Canada, refugee women are one of the most vulnerable groups and pregnant women with immediate needs for health care services may be at higher risk of health problems. This paper describes findings from the qualitative dimension of a mixed-methodological study.
Methods
A focused ethnographic approach was conducted in 2010 with Sudanese women living in an urban Canadian city. Focus group interviews were conducted to map out the experiences of these women in maternity care, particularly with respect to the challenges faced when attempting to use health care services.
Results
Twelve women (mean age 36.6 yrs) having experience using maternity services in Canada within the past two years participated. The findings revealed that there are many beliefs that impact upon behaviours and perceptions during the perinatal period. Traditionally, the women mostly avoid anything that they believe could harm themselves or their babies. Pregnancy and delivery were strongly believed to be natural events without need for special attention or intervention. Furthermore, the sub-Saharan culture supports the dominance of the family by males and the ideology of patriarchy. Pregnancy and birth are events reflecting a certain empowerment for women, and the women tend to exert control in ways that may or may not be respected by their husbands. Individual choices are often made to foster self and outward-perceptions of managing one’s affairs with strength.
Conclusion
In today’s multicultural society there is a strong need to avert misunderstandings, and perhaps harm, through facilitating cultural awareness and competency of care rather than misinterpretations of resistance to care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-51
PMCID: PMC3599128  PMID: 23442448
Canada; Sudanese; Beliefs; Culture; Focused ethnography; Maternity; Refugee; Pregnancy
4.  Food choices and practices during pregnancy of immigrant and Aboriginal women in Canada: a study protocol 
Background
Facilitating the provision of appropriate health care for immigrant and Aboriginal populations in Canada is critical for maximizing health potential and well-being. Numerous reports describe heightened risks of poor maternal and birth outcomes for immigrant and Aboriginal women. Many of these outcomes may relate to food consumption/practices and thus may be obviated through provision of resources which suit the women's ethnocultural preferences. This project aims to understand ethnocultural food and health practices of Aboriginal and immigrant women, and how these intersect with respect to the legacy of Aboriginal colonialism and to the social contexts of cultural adaptation and adjustment of immigrants. The findings will inform the development of visual tools for health promotion by practitioners.
Methods/Design
This four-phase study employs a case study design allowing for multiple means of data collection and different units of analysis. Phase 1 consists of a scoping review of the literature. Phases 2 and 3 incorporate pictorial representations of food choices (photovoice in Phase 2) with semi-structured photo-elicited interviews (in Phase 3). The findings from Phases 1-3 and consultations with key stakeholders will generate key understandings for Phase 4, the production of culturally appropriate visual tools. For the scoping review, an emerging methodological framework will be utilized in addition to systematic review guidelines. A research librarian will assist with the search strategy and retrieval of literature. For Phases 2 and 3, recruitment of 20-24 women will be facilitated by team member affiliations at perinatal clinics in one of the city's most diverse neighbourhoods. The interviews will reveal culturally normative practices surrounding maternal food choices and consumption, including how women negotiate these practices within their own worldview and experiences. A structured and comprehensive integrated knowledge translation plan has been formulated.
Discussion
The findings of this study will provide practitioners with an understanding of the cultural differences that affect women's dietary choices during maternity. We expect that the developed resources will be of immediate use within the women's units and will enhance counseling efforts. Wide dissemination of outputs may have a greater long term impact in the primary and secondary prevention of these high risk conditions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-100
PMCID: PMC3252281  PMID: 22152052
5.  Identification of nursing assessment models/tools validated in clinical practice for use with diverse ethno-cultural groups: an integrative review of the literature 
BMC Nursing  2011;10:16.
Background
High income nations are currently exhibiting increasing ethno-cultural diversity which may present challenges for nursing practice. We performed an integrative review of literature published in North America and Europe between 1990 and 2007, to map the state of knowledge and to identify nursing assessment tools/models which are have an associated research or empirical perspective in relation to ethno-cultural dimensions of nursing care.
Methods
Data was retrieved from a wide variety of sources, including key electronic bibliographic databases covering research in biomedical fields, nursing and allied health, and culture, e.g. CINAHL, MEDline, PUBmed, Cochrane library, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and HAPI. We used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tools for quality assessment. We applied Torraco's definition and method of an integrative review that aims to create new knowledge and perspectives on a given phenomena. To add methodological rigor with respect to the search strategy and other key review components we also used the principles established by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination.
Results
Thirteen thousand and thirteen articles were retrieved, from which 53 full papers were assessed for inclusion. Eight papers met the inclusion criteria, describing research on a total of eight ethno-cultural assessment tools/models. The tools/models are described and synthesized.
Conclusions
While many ethno-cultural assessment tools exist to guide nursing practice, few are informed by research perspectives. An increased focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of health services, patient safety, and risk management, means that provision of culturally responsive and competent health services will inevitably become paramount.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-10-16
PMCID: PMC3175445  PMID: 21812960
6.  The transitioning experiences of internationally-educated nurses into a Canadian health care system: A focused ethnography 
BMC Nursing  2011;10:14.
Background
Beyond well-documented credentialing issues, internationally-educated nurses (IENs) may need considerable support in transitioning into new social and health care environments. This study was undertaken to gain an understanding of transitioning experiences of IENs upon relocation to Canada, while creating policy and practice recommendations applicable globally for improving the quality of transitioning and the retention of IENs.
Methods
A focused ethnography of newly-recruited IENs was conducted, using individual semi-structured interviews at both one-to-three months (Phase 1) and nine-to-twelve months post-relocation (Phase 2). A purposive sample of IENs was recruited during their orientation at a local college, to a health authority within western Canada which had recruited them for employment throughout the region. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and data was managed using qualitative analytical software. Data analysis was informed by Roper and Shapira's framework for focused ethnography.
Results
Twenty three IENs consented to participate in 31 interviews. All IENs which indicated interest during their orientation sessions consented to the interviews, yet 14 did not complete the Phase 2 interview due to reorganization of health services and relocation. The ethno-culturally diverse group had an average age of 36.4 years, were primarily educated to first degree level or higher, and were largely (under) employed as "Graduate Nurses". Many IENs reported negative experiences related to their work contract and overall support upon arrival. There were striking differences in nursing practice and some experiences of perceived discrimination. The primary area of discontentment was the apparent communication breakdown at the recruitment stage with subsequent discrepancy in expected professional role and financial reimbursement.
Conclusions
Explicit and clear communication is needed between employers and recruitment agencies to avoid employment contract misunderstandings and to enable clear interpretation of the credentialing processes. Pre-arrival orientation of IENs including health care communications should be encouraged and supported by the recruiting institution. Moreover, employers should provide more structured and comprehensive workplace orientation to IENs with consistent preceptorship. Similar to findings of many other studies, diversity should be valued and incorporated into the professional culture by nurse managers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-10-14
PMCID: PMC3152934  PMID: 21693059

Results 1-6 (6)