An Intersectional Exploration: Experiences of Stroke Prevention in Middle-Aged and Older Arab Muslim Immigrant Women in Canada

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Abstract

Background

Arab immigrants have increasing rates of stroke and uncontrolled stroke risk factors coupled with minimal resources for stroke prevention.

Purpose

This article describes the results of an interpretive descriptive study about Arab immigrant women’s experiences of practicing stroke prevention. We use an intersectionality approach to discuss some of the factors that influenced women’s ability to manage their health.

Methods

Sixteen middle-aged and older Arab Muslim immigrant women were recruited between 2015 and 2016 from two religious centers in an urban Canadian center. Women were between the ages of 45 and 75 years, were living in the community, and had a combination of stroke risk factors. Semi-structured interviews lasting 2–3 h were conducted in Arabic by the primary bilingual researcher. Data analysis was completed in Arabic, with final themes and exemplars translated to English with the support of a certified translator.

Results

Study themes include relating life stressors to physical health, pursuing knowledge in the dark, negotiating medication and treatment options, making an effort to eat healthy and be active, and identifying triple ingredients for empowerment.

Conclusion

Economic status, access to transportation, language fluency, life stressors, and personal coping strategies influenced Arab women’s ability to manage personal health.

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