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Fam Community Health. 2010 Oct-Dec;33(4):254-61. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3181f3b2d3.

Cardiovascular health perceptions in multigenerational Korean immigrants.

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Seattle University College of Nursing, Seattle, WA 98122, USA.


Cardiovascular disease is prevalent in the Korean immigrants. Success of any health interventions depends heavily on our understanding of how health issues are perceived by the recipients. This study describes cardiovascular health perceptions using Photovoice, a qualitative methodology utilizing photography to initiate discussion, in multigenerational Korean immigrants (older adults, teenagers, children). Twenty Korean Americans (7 adults aged >or=50 years, 6 teenagers aged 13 to 19 years, 7 children aged 9 to 12 years) were recruited from the Korean communities in Seattle, Washington. Each subject was given a camera and asked to take 24 pictures of objects, scenes, and environments that represented their perceptions of cardiovascular health and related risk factors. Subjects were asked to pick 2 photos and present their thoughts about them in a tape-recorded group meeting. Key concepts were identified from the discussions. Themes identified promoting cardiovascular health included good diet, exercise, a clean environment, and spirituality. The themes identified as the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases included bad diet, smoking, pollution, and stress. Expression of the risk factors differed by the age group. The shared cultural background also influenced the perception of the risk factors. These observations support the findings that the culture and age-specific interventions may augment intervention effectiveness.

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