<p> The primary purpose of this study was to explore ways migration experiences and cultural factors influence how sub-Saharan African-born immigrants diagnosed with HIV access medical and psychological health services in the United States. The study was conducted with African-born immigrants diagnosed with HIV. The participants were all members of a support group. The data was obtained through two focus group interviews. Qualitative methodology with thematic analysis was used. The findings of the study yielded six salient themes: (a) factors contributing to healthcare disparities; (b) emotional distress and psychosocial adjustment; (c) positive emotional wellness and support; (d) education as criteria to eliminate disparities; (e) stigmatization by interpreters; and (f) belief in God. Based on these findings, the following recommendations for reducing healthcare disparities among sub-Saharan African-born immigrants diagnosed with HIV were suggested: (a) provide culturally sensitive services that meet the needs of the population; (2) include clients in selecting their interpreters; and (3) provide in-depth education to clients and patients about their mental health with consideration for cultural meaning. Mental health providers are encouraged to seek some level of understanding about their patients’ perceptions of mental health symptoms and use culturally sensitive resources as an aid in providing services. The use of a collaborative and multidisciplinary team approach to care is likely to improve health seeking behaviors. Suggestions for mental health clinicians and implication for future research are discussed in the last section. </p><p> Key Words: healthcare disparities, stigma, HIV/AIDS, African-born immigrants, mental health, support, interpreters, refugees.</p>
|22 December 2015
|Ballah-Swaray, Vivian K.
|Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
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