The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at J Transcult Nurs See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Hispanic females are disproportionately affected by substance abuse, intimate partner violence, and HIV. Despite these disparities, research describing the cultural and gender-specific experiences of Hispanic women with regard to these conditions is lacking.
The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences that Hispanic community-dwelling women have with regard to substance abuse, violence, and risky sexual behaviors.
Eight focus groups with 81 women were conducted. A bilingual, bicultural moderator asked women open-ended questions regarding the experiences that Hispanic women have with these conditions. Focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed, translated, verified, and then analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Participants discussed substance abuse, violence, and risky sexual behaviors interchangeably, often identifying common risk factors associated with these. Nevertheless, intimate partner violence was the most salient of conditions discussed.
Three major themes emerged from the analysis: Transplantadas en otro mundo Uprooted in another world , El criador de abuso The breeding ground of abuse , and Rompiendo el silencio Breaking the silence.
This study supports the importance of addressing substance abuse, violence, and risk for HIV in an integrated manner and stresses the importance of addressing associated cultural factors e. It has also been noted that Hispanics are disproportionately affected by the consequences of these conditions. Despite these disparities, research describing the cultural and gender-specific experiences of Hispanic women with substance abuse, IPV, and risky sexual behaviors is lacking.
The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences that Hispanic women in the community have with substance abuse, IPV, and risky sexual behaviors. Syndemics are interacting epidemics or conditions that tend to occur in clusters, interact synergistically, and together contribute to an excess in morbidity and mortality among affected groups CDC, ; Singer, The SAVA syndemic is a specific cluster of epidemics that have been found among marginalized subsamples of Hispanics in the northeast region of the United States with identified histories of high-risk behaviors e.
This study is the first to examine the experiences of Hispanic community women in South Florida with regard to the SAVA conditions and to identify potential cultural factors that may link these conditions together. This article reports on the first phase of the project, wherein qualitative research methods were used to understand the experiences Hispanic women have with the SAVA conditions. Participants and Setting Eligibility criteria for the study included self-identifying as being of Hispanic or Latino descent i.
Participants were primarily recruited from a community-based organization that provides a series of social services e. Study flyers were posted in the reception area, and the receptionist was trained to inform clients about the study.
Candidates were given the name and contact information of the study coordinator in case they had any questions the receptionist could not answer. For example, participants who had already enrolled in the study were asked to inform their family and friends who met study inclusion criteria.
Interested candidates contacted the research coordinator after reading the article. Eight focus groups, with a total of 81 participants 8—13 participants per group , were led by the same bilingual, bicultural facilitator s who obtained informed consent and led the focus group discussions.
Prior to beginning the focus groups, food and refreshments were served. This allowed the participants and the facilitators to get to know each another and helped build rapport. After the refreshments, the facilitator reviewed and collected the signed consent forms, emphasized the importance of maintaining confidentiality, and established ground rules for the focus group discussion. The facilitator used a focus group guide to initiate discussion.
This guide included an opening question e. What are some of the issues facing communities like yours? If participants did not mention details about substance abuse, IPV, or risky sexual behaviors in their communities, additional probes were used to elicit perspectives regarding these issues e.
Once the focus groups were completed, participants were scheduled for face-to-face interviews in which a battery of standardized instruments e. Data Analysis The audiotaped focus groups were transcribed and translated by bilingual study personnel. After the Spanish transcripts were translated, one of the coinvestigators compared the original Spanish transcription with the English translation and revised any discrepancies.
These transcripts were then analyzed using content analysis. Content analysis is a research technique that allows investigators to make inferences from text or other media that are valid and replicable.
Procedures used in content analysis vary depending on the purpose of its use Krippendorff, Five bilingual, bicultural investigators reviewed the seven focus group transcripts, making sure that each transcript was analyzed by two investigators and that every investigator analyzed two or more transcripts.
Although investigators reviewed the transcripts in the language they felt most comfortable with i. These steps included reading through the transcripts several times, identifying significant statements i. Differences in opinions among coders were resolved by reflecting on the underlying meanings that categories and themes attempted to capture, linking them to the direct quotations from participants, and discussing these until agreement was reached on the appropriate categorizations and themes.
Participants represented almost all the countries in Latin America, with the greatest proportions coming from Colombia The majority of the participants were unemployed All but two participants preferred speaking in Spanish and were immigrants. The two participants reporting that they preferred to speak in English also felt comfortable speaking in Spanish and participated in the focus groups conducted in Spanish. Three central themes emerged from the focus group data.