Methodological and Ethical Considerations in Research With Immigrant and Refugee Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
To promote safe and positive health outcomes by utilizing culturally relevant evidence-based interventions for immigrant and refugee women survivors of intimate partner violence, their active participation in research is critical. With 43.6 million immigrants and refugees living in the United States, there is a need for research studies to eliminate health disparities in these populations. However, barriers to recruiting and retaining these populations in research prevent the provision of quality and culturally informed services to meet their needs. The aim of this article is to discuss the recruitment and retention strategies employed and analyze the methodological and ethical challenges in the context of the weWomen Study. The use of a multifaceted approach informed by best practices maximized recruitment efforts and active participation that generated high numbers of immigrant and refugee women participants. The study also substantiated the need for more community-based participatory approaches to engage community members in the development of culturally appropriate approaches that instill a sense of ownership over the research process. Active research participation of immigrant and refugee survivors will help investigators understand their unique needs and facilitate the implementation of targeted evidence-based interventions.
American Indian women cancer survivors’ coping with depressive symptoms
Depressive symptoms have been identified as a primary predictor of quality of life among cancer patients. Depression and cancer are co-occurring and disproportionately elevated for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women. The purpose of this article is to examine American Indian (AI) women cancer survivors’ coping mechanisms for depressive symptoms. The methodology included a qualitative descriptive approach with conventional content analysis to examine the coping strategies of AI women cancer survivors associated with depressive symptoms. The interview guide was semi-structured and developed in collaboration with a community advisory board (CAB). Data-derived qualitative analysis was used to generate codes inductively from the data. A sample of 43 AI women cancer survivors (n = 14 cervical cancer, n = 14 breast cancer, and n = 15 other cancers) from the Northern Plains region, in the state of South Dakota were interviewed. Data were collected from June 2014 to February 2015. Qualitative content analysis was used for data analysis, which allowed themes to emerge inductively from the data. Analysis revealed 430 preliminary codes. After de-briefing, validation, and discussion among coauthors, these were then sorted into 67 codes. Member checks with all available participants were conducted to minimize misinterpretation. Findings: A total of 26 participants (62%) indicated they had feelings of depression since their cancer diagnosis. Women coped with depressive feelings by (a) participating in faith traditions; (b) seeking creative and positive outlets; (c) martialing family and social support; and (d) keeping busy with other life activities. Interpretation: AI women experienced depressive symptoms following a cancer diagnosis and used a variety of positive coping mechanisms to create personal meaning. AI women may need unique support following a cancer diagnosis, and interventions should incorporate AI beliefs and traditions, such as storytelling and talking with family and community members.
Identifying risk and protective factors related to depressive symptoms among Northern Plains American Indian women cancer survivors
Cancer is the leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women, and depressive symptoms have been linked to higher mortality, but research on depressive symptoms among AIAN cancer patients has been scant. The purpose of this exploratory study was, using the Framework of Historical Oppression, Resilience, and Transcendence, to examine risk and protective factors related to depressive symptoms in American Indian (AI) women cancer survivors. We examined the relationships of adverse childhood experiences (ACE), perceived health status, resilience, and social support with depressive symptoms in Northern Plains AI women cancer survivors. We used a cross-sectional design with purposive sampling of 73 female cancer survivors (aged 18 years or older) between June 2014 and February 2015. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to test three sets of variables in relation to depressive symptoms: (1) sociodemographics, (2) risk factors (ACE and perceived health), and (3) protective factors (psychological resilience and social support). Approximately 47 percent of participants had probable depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were inversely associated with perceived health, psychological resilience, and social support. These results support bolstering existing social support among AI cancer patients and survivors as well as prevention and intervention efforts that strengthen resilience.
The resilience of indigenous women of the U.S. who experience cancer: transcending adversity
Almost no research specifically explores resilience among Indigenous women of the U.S. who experience cancer. A qualitative descriptive study included a sample of 43 Indigenous women from the Northern Plains region of the U.S. Almost 90% (88%, n = 37) of participants indicated personal growth in response to having cancer, indicating they valued relationships (n = 3), had a stronger faith (n = 5), were grateful and living in moment (n = 21), became more healthy (n = 5), and helped others (n = 6) in response to their cancer experience. Results indicate that factors that promote and facilitate resilience are critical for culturally responsive practice with Indigenous women.
American Indian Women Cancer Survivor’s Needs and Preferences: Community Support for Cancer Experiences
Cancer (the focus of this inquiry) is the leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women. The purpose of this study was to identify American Indian women cancer survivors’ needs and preferences related to community supports for their cancer experience. This qualitative study examined female American Indian cancer survivors’ needs and preferences about community support. The sample included 43 American Indian women cancer survivors (the types of cancer survivors included cervical cancer: n = 14; breast cancer: n = 14; and colon and other types: n = 15) residing in the Northern Plains region, in the state of South Dakota. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis and were collected between June of 2014 and February of 2015. When asked about their needs and preferences, 82% of participants (n = 35) of female American Indian cancer survivors reported at least one of the following most commonly reported themes: cancer support groups (n = 31, 72%), infrastructure for community support (n = 17, 40%), and cancer education (n = 11, 26%). In addition to the aforementioned themes, 33% of participants (n = 14) indicated the need for an improved healthcare system, with 11% (n = 5) of participants expressly desiring the integration of spirituality and holistic healing options. The majority of American Indian women cancer survivor participants of this study identified a need for more community-based support systems and infrastructures to aid with the cancer survivor experience. Results warrant a community approach to raise awareness, education, and support for American Indian cancer survivors.
A Culturally Informed Systematic Review of Mental Health Disparities Among Adult Indigenous Men and Women of the USA: What is known?
Related to a broader context of historical oppression, Indigenous peoples of the USA are overburdened with the mental health challenges that social workers tend to treat, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, suicide and substance use disorders (SUD). The purpose of this systematic review is to use the Framework of Historical Oppression, Resilience and Transcendence (FHORT) to identify empirical research on risk and protective factors related to mental health and SUD amongst these populations. This systematic review includes peer-reviewed quantitative and qualitative research articles from 1980 to 2017 focusing on the mental health of US Indigenous adults. A total of thirty-eight peer-reviewed empirical articles met inclusion criteria. Results reveal adults within Indigenous populations are at a high risk for mental health outcomes, including PTSD, depression, suicide, SUD and comorbidity across these outcomes. Underlying risk factors across outcomes included historical oppression and loss, family problems and SUD. Protective factors tended to include family and social support and engagement with tribal cultural activities. Significant variability was identified based on gender and geographic regions. Given that protective factors tended to include cultural, familial and community tenets, holistic approaches are the most promising programmes for social workers to work towards.
The Framework of Historical Oppression, Resilience and Transcendence to Understand Disparities in Depression Amongst Indigenous Peoples
Given chronic experiences of historical oppression, Indigenous peoples tend to experience much higher rates of depression than the general US population, which then, drives disproportionately high rates of suicide and other health disparities. The purpose of this research was to examine the core components of the culturally grounded Framework of Historical Oppression, Resilience, and Transcendence as they relate to depressive symptoms experienced by Indigenous peoples. As part of a larger convergent mixed-methods study, in this quantitative survey component, we utilised data from a sample of 127 Indigenous adults across two Southeastern US tribes. Regression analysis results signified support for the framework, indicating that historical oppression and proximal stress (daily stressors and lower incomes) were risk factors, whereas family resilience and life satisfaction (a measure of transcendence) were protective factors related to depressive symptoms. The results provide a foundation for future research to build upon in identifying culturally relevant risk and protective factors to ameliorate depression and other health disparities.
Repeated Disasters and Chronic Environmental Changes Impede, Generational Transmission of Indigenous Knowledge
The purpose of this study was to elucidate meaning from shared cultural perceptions of experiencing hurricanes and other environmental changes among an Indigenous community on the Gulf Coast. This study contributes to the scarce research exploring environmental determinants of Indigenous health disparities, and epidemic and widespread problem.
Nutrition provider confidence in the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) study
The multi-sector, multi-level Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) study resulted in improvements in obesity risk factors among children age 2–4 years enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The goal of this study was to examine whether the MA-CORD intervention increased WIC provider confidence in their ability to identify childhood obesity and obesity-related behaviors. As part of the MA-CORD intervention conducted from 2012 to 2015, we implemented WIC practice changes focused on childhood obesity prevention within two Massachusetts communities. We examined changes in provider confidence to assess childhood obesity risk factors and practice frequency among WIC practices located in MA-CORD intervention communities over a 3-year period, compared to non-intervention sites. We measured provider confidence on a continuous scale using questions previously developed to assess provider and parent confidence to make weight-related behavior change (range 0 to 24). There were 205 providers at baseline and 165 at follow-up. WIC providers at intervention sites reported greater confidence in their ability to identify childhood obesity and obesity-related behaviors compared to the usual care sites (β = 1.01, standard error = 0.13). These findings persisted after adjusting for provider gender, years in practice, highest education level, and WIC position. Conclusions The MA-CORD intervention was associated with increased WIC provider confidence to assess children’s obesity risk. Interventions that increase confidence in assessing obesity-related behaviors may have salutary effects within WIC programs that serve low-income families.
Promoting Self-Awareness: An Undergraduate In-Class Activity and Its Value
Self-awareness is important in social work education because it promotes knowledge, skill, and value development. However, little is written about the ways in which educators facilitate this process. A project was undertaken to design a new self-awareness assignment (SAA) and examine its value. The SAA’s development, which relies on role-plays, is described. Results from an exploratory qualitative study that examined the value of the SAA on 80 undergraduate social work students’ knowledge and skills is presented. The results suggest the SAA is a positive teaching strategy for promoting students’ knowledge and skills development. Implications for social work education are discussed.
Mobile Health Interventions for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mobile health (mHealth) interventions may be useful for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), but there is minimal knowledge regarding how mHealth technology is currently being used for TBI treatment or rehabilitation. The purpose of this review is to examine the extant literature on the use of mHealth for intervention delivery in order to identify considerations for using mHealth with the TBI population, and to provide recommendations for further study. Recent Findings: Consistent with recent literature in other disability populations, mHealth shows promise for people with TBI as a compensatory strategy for cognitive impairment, a method for monitoring and reducing symptoms, and a means of addressing goals in social and educational spheres. Summary: In this review article, we summarize the results of 16 articles on mHealth interventions for individuals with TBI, highlighting relevant findings for clinical application and discussing challenges unique to the use of mHealh post-TBI.
Ethical Considerations in Chronic Brain Injury
A growing number of individuals are living with chronic traumatic brain injury. As these individuals and their families attempt to reintegrate into their communities, several ethical questions arise for clinicians and researchers. These include issues around alignment of perspectives and priorities, as well as responsibilities for ongoing treatment, education, community outreach, and research. An action plan for addressing these questions is outlined.
Lived experiences of chronic cognitive and mood symptoms among community-dwelling adults following stroke: a mixed-methods analysis
Few studies have explored the lived experiences of chronic cognitive and mood symptoms following stroke using a racially/ethnically diverse sample. Therefore, we aimed to explore the perceptions of chronic post-stroke cognition and mood symptoms and goals among a racially/ethnically diverse sample of community-dwelling adults aging with stroke. This qualitative study using mixed-methods analysis included semi-structured interviews regarding perceived post-stroke cognitive and mood symptoms among community-dwelling stroke survivors at least one-year post stroke. Transcripts were subjected to thematic content analysis, and differences in theme usage patterns by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and post-acute rehabilitation setting were assessed using an inferential clustering technique. The majority of participants (93%) reported cognition-related themes, including language and communication, memory, thinking abilities, comprehension, visual-spatial processing, and cognitive assessments and training. Nearly half of participants mentioned mood-related themes, including depression, aggression and anger, mood fluctuations, anxiety, and psychological services and medication. Nearly half reported an unmet need for cognition or mood-related treatment. Inferential clustering analysis revealed that older participants reported a different pattern of cognitive and mood symptoms than those aged younger than 65 (p = 0.02). Older adults were more likely to describe post-stroke language/communication changes, while younger adults described post-stroke mood changes. Stroke survivors experienced cognitive and mood-related symptoms beyond one-year post stroke, which has implications for long-term assessment and management. Incorporation of continued symptom monitoring into existing community-based services is needed to address chronic cognitive and mood symptoms affecting the quality of life of persons with stroke.
Stroke Survivors’ Perspectives on Post-Acute Rehabilitation Options, Goals, Satisfaction, and Transition to Home
Patients and caregivers have not typically been involved in the selection of a post-acute care (PAC) provider. In 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed the need to involve patients and their families during discharge planning. Engaging patients in rehabilitation decisions encourages shared decision making among patients and their clinicians. The purpose of this study was to examine stroke survivors’ perspectives on their involvement in selecting a PAC provider and their goal setting and their satisfaction with the rehabilitation stay and their discharge advice for stroke survivors, prior to 2015. This qualitative study utilized semistructured interviews. Thematic content analysis was performed on interviews involving 18 stroke survivors (mean age = 68 years) related to their involvement in planning for their inpatient rehabilitation facility or skilled nursing facility stay, goal setting, and discharge needs. More than half the participants were not involved in the selection of their PAC setting and believed that doctors made these decisions. Around two-fifths of stroke survivors reported that they were not involved in rehabilitation goal setting. Most patients were satisfied with their rehabilitation stay. When asked to recommend discharge topics for other stroke survivors, participants recommended additional information on health care services, interventions, and insurance coverage. Despite recommendations to include stroke patients in PAC selection and goal setting, many former inpatient rehabilitation facility and skilled nursing facility patients report not being involved in either aspect of care.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A273).
Preferences for Communicating about Breast Cancer Screening Among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Older Women
Differences exist across breast cancer screening guidelines regarding frequency of screening and age of discontinuation for older women (≥70 years) at average risk for breast cancer. These differences highlight concerns about the benefits and harms of screening, and may negatively impact older women’s ability to make informed screening decisions. This study examined preferences for communicating about screening mammography among racially/ethnically diverse, older women. In-depth interviews were conducted with 59 women with no breast cancer history. Non-proportional quota sampling ensured roughly equal numbers on age (70–74 years, ≥75 years), race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic/Latina White, non-Hispanic/Latina Black, Hispanic/Latina), and education (≤high school diploma, >high school diploma). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using NVivo 10. Thematic analyses revealed that rather than being told to get mammograms, participants wanted to hear about the benefits and harms of screening mammography, including overdiagnosis. Participants recommended that this information be communicated via physicians or other healthcare providers, included in brochures/pamphlets, and presented outside of clinical settings (e.g., in senior groups). Results were consistent regardless of participants’ age, race/ethnicity, or education. Findings revealed that older women desire information about the benefits and harms of screening mammography, and would prefer to learn this information through discussions with healthcare providers and multiple other formats.
Experiences and Needs of Older Adults Following Hurricane Ike: A Pilot Study of Long-Term Consequences
This study explored the experiences and needs of older adults during and following Hurricane Ike. Two focus group interviews were conducted among older adults who lived in or around Galveston Island before Hurricane Ike. Nine older adults (six women and three men) participated in two focus group sessions. These qualitative interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analyses. The findings of this study reveal the need for continuity in health care services, medications, psychological support, social and family support, community-level services, and information among older adults. The contribution of factors such as health care continuity and psychological support reinforces the importance of specific postdisaster resources to meet the needs of older adults following hurricanes. These results suggest the importance of designing hurricane preparedness guidelines specifically for older adults.
Disparities in Nursing Home Use and Quality Among African American, Hispanic, and White Medicare Residents With Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
This article examines differences in nursing home use and quality among Medicare beneficiaries, in both Medicare Advantage and fee-for-service, newly admitted to nursing homes with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Retrospective, national, population-based study of Medicare residents newly admitted to nursing homes with ADRD by race and ethnic group. Our analytic sample included 1,302,099 nursing home residents-268,181 with a diagnosis of ADRD-in 13,532 nursing homes from 2014. We found that a larger share of Hispanic Medicare residents that are admitted to nursing homes have ADRD compared with African American and White beneficiaries. Both Hispanics and African Americans with ADRD received care in segregated nursing homes with fewer resources and lower quality of care compared with White residents. These results have implications for targeted efforts to achieve health care equity and quality improvement efforts among nursing homes that serve minority patients.
Preventive healthcare-seeking behavior among poor older adults in Mexico: the impact of Seguro Popular, 2000-2012
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Seguro Popular (SP) on preventive care utilization among low-income SP beneficiaries and uninsured elders in Mexico.
Quality of Post-Acute Care in Skilled Nursing Facilities That Disproportionately Serve Black and Hispanic Patients
Understanding and addressing racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of post-acute care in skilled nursing facilities is an important health policy issue, particularly as the Medicare program initiates value-based payments for these institutions. Our final cohort included 649,187 Medicare beneficiaries in either the fee-for-service or Medicare Advantage programs, who were 65 and older and were admitted to a skilled nursing facility following an acute hospital stay, from 8,375 skilled nursing facilities. We examined the quality of care in skilled nursing facilities that disproportionately serve minority patients compared to non-Hispanic whites. Three measures, all calculated at the level of the facility, were used to assess quality of care in skilled nursing facilities: (a) 30-day rehospitalization rate; (b) successful discharge from the facility to the community; and (c) Medicare five-star quality ratings. We found that African American post-acute patients are highly concentrated in a small number of institutions, with 28% of facilities accounting for 80% of all post-acute admissions for African American patients. Similarly, just 20% of facilities accounted for 80% of all admissions for Hispanics. Skilled nursing facilities with higher fractions of African American patients had worse performance for three publicly reported quality measures: rehospitalization, successful discharge to the community, and the star rating indicator. Efforts to address disparities should focus attention on institutions that disproportionately serve minority patients and monitor unintended consequences of value-based payments to skilled nursing facilities.
Process and Product Innovations from a Statewide Capacity-Building Initiative for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery
Statewide behavioral health collaborative capacity-building initiatives are designed to support substance use agencies in strengthening their behavioral health services delivery and implementing evidence-supported practices. This study explored the types of innovations resulting from one such statewide behavioral health initiative, as well as the facilitators and barriers to implementing these innovations, from the perspective of the substance use agencies involved in the initiative. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 67 agency stakeholders and 93 agency progress reports. Results indicated that 161 innovations emerged through this project for the substance use agencies, including staffing; policy, procedure, and technology; partnerships; training and media products; and service innovations. Agency facilitators included collaboration/partnership, project buy-in, and quality of agency staff. Barriers to implementation included lack of collaboration or partnerships, agency infrastructure or climate, lack of project buy-in, and funding and billing issues. The article concludes with a discussion on implications for social work practice in behavioral health.