Nursing Research on the Health of Low-Income Women

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The purpose of this paper is to describe the scope of published nursing research on the health of low-income women. Williams'(1990) model of the relationship between socioeconomic status and health was used as a framework for the analysis. This model includes three major components: Medical Care, Psychosocial Factors, and Health Outcomes. There is a body of published nursing research that addresses a range of health issues of low-income women. Our search of English language literature published between 1989 and 1995 retrieved 49 articles that met the inclusion criteria. Most of the nursing studies examined a portion of Williams' model but did not address multiple components. The most frequently addressed component was Psychosocial Factors, particularly health practices, stress and coping, and social ties. Williams' model was an effective framework to classify nursing research. Results of our analysis suggest that further research is needed on the pathways by which low income influences health and on the effectiveness of nursing interventions.

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