Author

Lenore Resick

Defense Date

3-23-2006

Graduation Date

2006

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Nursing

School

School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Joan Such Lockhart

Committee Member

Eileen Zungolo

Committee Member

Juliene G. Lipson

Keywords

Former Soviet Union, immigrant/refugee women, meaning of health, midlife Russian-speaking women, midlife women, Russian-speaking women

Abstract

This study sought to explore the meaning of health among midlife Russian-speaking women from the Former Soviet Union. A hermeneutic, phenomenologic, descriptive and interpretive design following the Utrecht School was used. The setting was in an ethnic community in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The sample included 12 Russian-speaking women who also spoke English, ages 40-61, who migrated after 1991 to the United States. Methods included hermeneutic phenomenology, which combined descriptive and interpretive phenomenology, and content analysis of verbatim transcriptions of open-ended individual interviews. Six major themes were identified: health as a highly valued possession; being a stranger/seeking the familiar; grieving and loss/building a new life; experiencing changes and transitions; trusting self; and importance of hope. Conclusions were that the women value health, are knowledgeable about health, participate in self-care practices, trust their own abilities to make self-care decisions, and seek out health-related information. At the same time, this is a vulnerable population at risk for the onset of chronic medical conditions associated with the process of aging, past exposures, and current stressors related to migration and the tendency to avoid health screening. Implications for nursing practice include the need for interventions to build trust and to assess both self-care practices and values concerning end-of-life issues. Future research recommendations include replication of this study with other samples within this population, further investigation of curative practices, and exploration of the meaning of death and end-of-life issues.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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