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Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2009;32(1):31-46. doi: 10.1080/01460860802610194.

Community leaders' perceptions of Hispanic, single, low-income mothers' needs, concerns, social support, and interactions with health care services.

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University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0220, USA.


Hispanic, single, low-income mothers are a vulnerable population who are often identified as having difficult transitioning to motherhood and successfully using the U.S. health care system. The purpose of this study was to examine needs, concerns, and social support of Hispanic, single, low-income mothers during the transition to motherhood through the eyes of community leaders serving this population in the U.S. Two focus groups were conducted, and 16 Midwestern community leaders working or volunteering with the Hispanic population expressed their opinions. Two investigators and two graduate nursing students evaluated the data. The process of word and context interpretation was completed using a combination of Tesch (1990) and Creswell (2007) techniques. Data were compared to field notes and debriefing summaries were completed during focus group discussions. Four themes and 12 subthemes evolved from the group discussions. Themes were (a) mothers' social support, (b) interactions with health care providers, (c) barriers in trust, and (d) practical life issues. A conclusion was drawn from these data that these women have difficulty accessing social support and information regarding care of themselves and their newborn infants due to limited social networks and barriers to health care. Nurses are in key positions to offer culturally sensitive social support and identify health care barriers with Hispanic, single, low-income mothers during the transition to motherhood. Further research is needed on interventions that effectively deliver information, lower health care barriers, and meet social support needs of Hispanic, single, low-income mothers and their infants.

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