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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2019 May 27;28(2):485-500. doi: 10.1044/2018_AJSLP-18-0061. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

The Relationship Between Culture, Quality of Life, and Stigma in Hispanic New Mexicans With Dysphagia: A Preliminary Investigation Using Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis.

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Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Albuquerque, NM.


Purpose The purpose of this investigation was to (a) identify the relationship between level of acculturation, and quality of life (QOL) and stigma and (b) explore the QOL experiences for Hispanic New Mexicans with dysphagia. Method This study includes 7 New Mexicans who self-identified as Hispanic. This prospective investigation was completed in 2 phases. In the quantitative phase, all participants completed the (a) the SWAL-QOL ( McHorney et al., 2000 ), (b) the Neuro-QoL Stigma subtest ( Gershon et al., 2012 ), and (c) the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II; Cuellar, Arnold, & Maldonado, 1995 ). In the qualitative phase, 3 participants were selected from the quantitative phase to complete the qualitative phase. These participants were selected to allow for distribution across levels of acculturation, and each of them participated in interviews designed to explore QOL experiences. Interviews were analyzed to identify themes. The occurrence of themes is discussed as a function of level of acculturation. Results There is no clear relationship between acculturation and QOL. A strong nonsignificant correlation was observed between acculturation and stigma. QOL experiences, as identified from the interviews, were classified into 2 broad categories: emotional experiences (stigma, distrust, fear, frustration, religion, and impact) and swallow safety (symptoms, treatment, triggers, and compensatory strategies). Conclusions Level of acculturation did not relate to measures of mental health or fatigue. Yet, both quantitative and qualitative analyses support a relationship between level of acculturation, and symptom reporting and religion, as well as patient perception of stigma.


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