There is much to be learned about the health issues of the middle and elder years in women ages 35 and beyond. Over the past two years, USD Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science nursing students and international nurse researchers led by Director Lucia Gonzales, performed pilot studies in the Ukraine, Haiti, Japan, Oman and with American immigrant groups of the Filipina American and Hispanic American cultures. The purpose of this research is to prepare two short assessment instruments for use in global populations of women. Assessment instruments provide valuable insights into our patient’s health, e.g. improved outcomes, following nursing interventions, and uncovering underlying reasons for complex symptomology.
These tools assess a woman’s relationship in a group, her belief in God and her belief in the ability and the benefits of increasing lifestyle physical activity (such as walking more). They are questioned about how much their roles as wife and mother are burdensome or beneficial. One instrument measures marginality, religiousness, self-efficacy and outcome expectations. The woman who is at the fringes of society, marginalized by economic insecurity or feelings of powerlessness, can experience health problems. Marginality has been statistically linked with recognition of perimenstrual symptoms. Religiousness has been shown to have statistical correlations with a woman’s mental health. The other instrument measures the satisfaction of the woman as she enacts her roles in life: worker, wife and mother. Role satisfaction has been linked with physical and mental health.
Using translation techniques, instruments were translated into native languages of Russian, Ukrainian, French Creole, Japanese, Arabic, Tagalog and Spanish. Two hundred and eighty-two women participated in the study that is ongoing. In the future, these instruments may be used to measure women’s health needs and to evaluate other ways of providing health assistance to women with few resources.
This study represents an innovative orderly approach to women’s health across cultures tailoring an approach to women’s cardiac health globally. Knowledge of role quality and psycho-social anthropological resources of the global woman is useful in evaluating the woman as she recovers from cardiovascular illness. In addition, use of these two short instruments can provide information about woman that can be used to determine the success of no-cost CV interventions that promote heart health such as increasing lifestyle physical activity or the reducing of role stress. In global cultures with limited resources, culturally sanctioned resources such as religion, roles within the family or exercise can mobilize additional resources without added cost.
Click here to read Dr. Gonzales’ research article.