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Acculturation & negative health outcomes

In one of our featured articles from the current ANS issue focusing on “Transitions,” Dr. R. Jeanne Ruiz and her colleagues present their research investigating the effects of acculturation on the health of pregnant Hispanic Women in the United States.    This research provides very important evidence for nurses and other providers who care for pregnant Hispanic women in the United States, but there are also important implications related to culture and health.  An important contribution of this study is the inclusion of physiologic measures.  Ruiz and her colleagues concluded that:

” ….  repeated or chronic physiological adaptation to stressors is an explanation for the “unhealthy assimilation” effect seen in Mexican immigrants.”  (see page E9)

As the authors of this article confirm, more research is needed to understand the health effects of cultural stress, how the dynamics of acculturation relate to health and well-being, and most important, ways in which nurses and other health care providers can promote health and well-being for immigrant women and families.

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