Perspectives of African and Brazilian immigrant women on sexual and reproductive health.

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Abstract

Objectives To explore attitudes and experiences related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of African and Brazilian immigrant women in Portugal. Methods Focus groups were conducted with 35 immigrant women with low income living in Lisbon, chosen through purposive sampling. Discussions were audio-taped and transcribed, and analysed through content analysis procedure. Results Compared to the Brazilian women, most Africans lacked knowledge and had more negative attitudes toward contraceptive methods, which adversely affected their proper use. African women were also less knowledgeable on sexually transmitted infections (STIs); some of them considered that their vulnerability to STIs was related to their partners' sexual risk behaviours. Nevertheless, a few Africans held less traditional attitudes toward condom use and appeared to have greater control over their sexual behaviour and STI prevention. Focus group discussions brought to light that cultural background often shapes women's desires concerning maternity. The participants' statements highlight the interaction between economic and social factors that affect immigrants and play an important role in their reproductive health. Conclusions This study illustrates the importance of developing holistic and tailored interventions for SRH promotion among immigrant women, whereby the differences and specific needs of each group need to be taken into consideration.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)255-263
JournalEuropean Journal Of Contraception And Reproductive Health Care
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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