Hypertension Management Among Haitian Immigrant Hotel Housekeepers Within the Context of Their Transmigrant Life
Sanon, Marie-Anne V.
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Little is known about how Haitian immigrants define and manage hypertension. Likewise, there is limited research about how Haitian immigrants' work and relationships within and across the U.S. and Haitian borders influence the way they manage hypertension. The purpose of this study was to explore how Haitian immigrant hotel housekeepers define and manage their hypertension within the context of their transmigrant life. This critical ethnography study was conducted in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Data were collected among 31 Haitian immigrant hotel housekeepers. Study methods included (a) face-to-face individual interviews, (b) a demographic questionnaire, and (c) photo voice interviews. All 27 women and four men who were study participants had migrated in the U.S. within a 10-year period prior to the study. Thirty-one demographic questionnaires, 31 face-to-face interview transcripts, and 12 photo voice interview transcripts were analyzed. Hypertension was also referred to mostly using the Haitian Creole word tansyon (n=27) .Tansyon was viewed both as an illness and as a normal body phenomenon. Western biomedical and non-Western biomedical approaches were used either as substitution or complimentary to each other to manage hypertension. Hotel housekeeping work influenced hypertension management both at the individual and system levels. The study found that the transmigrant life context, along with factors such as race, class, gender, and immigration status, had both positive and negative influences on the definition and management of hypertension. This study can inform health care providers and researchers about Haitian immigrants' definition and management of hypertension. This study also describes how hypertension was influenced by their experiences in the U.S. and their relationships across the U.S. and Haitian boarders, along with their race, class, gender, and immigration status. This study may also stimulate the ongoing conversation about the influence of work on workers' health, adding to the literature specific information on how hotel housekeeping affects hypertension management.
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