Attending to Communication and Patterns of Interaction: Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Care for Groups of Urban, Ethnically Diverse, Impoverished, and Underserved Women

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The United States is ethnically diverse. This diversity presents challenges to nurses, who, without empirical evidence to design culturally congruent interventions, may contribute to mental health care disparities.

OBJECTIVE:

Using Leininger's theory of culture care diversity and universality, this study documented communication and interaction patterns of ethnically diverse, urban, impoverished, and underserved women. DESIGN: Using a community-based participatory research framework, 61 Black, Hispanic, and White women participated in focus groups around their experiences with anxiety/depression. Researchers recorded verbal communication, nonverbal behavior, and patterns of interaction. RESULTS: The women's communication and interaction patterns gave evidence of three themes that were evident across all focus groups and five subthemes that emerged along ethnic lines.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest cultural universalities and cultural uniquenesses relative to the communication and interaction patterns of urban, ethnically diverse, impoverished, and underserved women that may assist in the design of culturally sensitive mental health care.

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