Immigrant women cancer survivors’ perceptions of healthcare services in Canada: A phenomenological study

Enam A. Alsrayheen, Khaldoun Aldiabat, Catherine Aquino-Russell


Middle Eastern immigrant women (MEIW) living in Canada have significantly increased. However, this group of women is under-represented in health research, and there is a gap in knowledge about their experiences when they access healthcare services for cancer care in Canada. This qualitative approach was conducted to uncover the meaning of the lived experiences of MEIW with healthcare services in Canada during their cancer survivorship (CS). Data were collected through unstructured interviews and one written description from three MEIW. Data were analyzed using a descriptive phenomenological approach developed by Giorgi. Four themes emerged to represent the essence (or meaning) of the participants’ lived experiences. Their healthcare was accompanied with delays and unmet needs. Yet, they found it helpful when they were provided with knowledge and information. The ability to communicate in English was equal to empowerment for each of them, while they faced cultural stigmatization of mental health issues. Thus, healthcare professionals need to identify immigrant women’s unmet support needs and psychosocial responses during their cancer survivorship. Language-specific and culturally competent cancer-care intervention programs must be developed within the Canadian healthcare system.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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