Exposure to culturally sensitive sexual health information and impact on health literacy: a qualitative study among newly arrived refugee women in Sweden

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Exposure to culturally sensitive sexual health information and impact on health literacy

T2 - a qualitative study among newly arrived refugee women in Sweden

AU - Svensson, Pia

AU - Carlzén, Katarina

AU - Agardh, Anette

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - In Sweden, migrants have poorer sexual and reproductive health compared to the general population. Health literacy, in the form of the cognitive and social skills enabling access to health promoting activities, is often poorer among migrants, partly due to language and cultural barriers. Culturally sensitive health education provides a strategy for enhancing health literacy. Since 2012, specially trained civic and health communicators have provided sexual and reproductive health and rights information to newly arrived refugees in Skåne, Sweden. The aim of this study was to explore how information on sexual and reproductive health and rights was perceived by female recipients and whether being exposed to such information contributed to enhanced sexual and reproductive health and rights literacy. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with nine women and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Two themes emerged: (1) opening the doors to new understandings of sexual and reproductive health and rights and (2) planting the seed for engagement in sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, illustrating how cultural norms influenced perceptions, but also how information opened up opportunities for challenging these norms. Gender-separate groups may facilitate information uptake, while discussion concerning sexual health norms may benefit from taking place in mixed groups.

AB - In Sweden, migrants have poorer sexual and reproductive health compared to the general population. Health literacy, in the form of the cognitive and social skills enabling access to health promoting activities, is often poorer among migrants, partly due to language and cultural barriers. Culturally sensitive health education provides a strategy for enhancing health literacy. Since 2012, specially trained civic and health communicators have provided sexual and reproductive health and rights information to newly arrived refugees in Skåne, Sweden. The aim of this study was to explore how information on sexual and reproductive health and rights was perceived by female recipients and whether being exposed to such information contributed to enhanced sexual and reproductive health and rights literacy. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with nine women and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Two themes emerged: (1) opening the doors to new understandings of sexual and reproductive health and rights and (2) planting the seed for engagement in sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, illustrating how cultural norms influenced perceptions, but also how information opened up opportunities for challenging these norms. Gender-separate groups may facilitate information uptake, while discussion concerning sexual health norms may benefit from taking place in mixed groups.

KW - health education

KW - health literacy

KW - Migrants

KW - sexual and reproductive health and rights

KW - Sweden

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84999752002&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13691058.2016.1259503

DO - 10.1080/13691058.2016.1259503

M3 - Article

C2 - 27894219

AN - SCOPUS:84999752002

VL - 19

SP - 752

EP - 766

JO - Culture, Health and Sexuality

JF - Culture, Health and Sexuality

SN - 1464-5351

IS - 7

ER -