Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-7-2021


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name





School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Alison M Colbert

Committee Member

Rick Zoucha

Committee Member

Lara Gerassi


trafficked for sex, women, culture, beliefs, values, practices, well-being, health


Introduction: Women who have been trafficked for sex in the United State report that the health care they receive is not consistently helpful or tailored to their unique needs. The purpose and domain of inquiry (DOI) for this study was to discover, understand, and describe health and well-being beliefs, values, and practices of U.S. born women who have been trafficked for sex in the United States, in order to provide culturally congruent nursing care. Method: Leininger’s Culture Care Theory (CCT), ethnonursing research method (ERM), and enablers guided the researcher as she explored the DOI. Interviews were conducted with 11 key informants and 18 general informants. Key informants were women who had been trafficked for sex in the U.S. General informants were providers of services for women who have been trafficked for sex. Results: Leininger's four phases of data analysis revealed 22 categories, seven patterns and three themes: (1) to keep myself safe, I cannot let my guard down, (2) I am worth the investment, (3) I need to know that you see me, and that you accept me. Discussion: These findings detail what women trafficked for sex value about their health and what they need and want from health care agents. Recommendations for future research and implications for education and practice are described.



Additional Citations

Lepianka, C., & Colbert, A. (2020). Characteristics and Healthcare Needs of Women

Who Are Trafficked for Sex in the United States: An Integrative Literature

Review. Journal of Forensic Nursing. 16(1), 6-15.