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Discrepancies in cultural norms on health behaviours: The experiences of women from Zimbabwe living in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Evidence has shown the need and benefits of health behaviours specifically, physical activity and healthy eating habits. However, discrepancies in cultural norms have resulted in significantly different ways of appreciating and engaging in these health behaviours. The challenges arising from migration are evident with possible effects which can be detrimental to the health of the migrated women. Hence, a more in-depth understanding of any discrepancies existing in cultural norms on health behaviours in the Zimbabwean and Swedish culture and how these views influence the women’s health behaviours, is vital in ensuring that they are not exposed to a higher disease risk.

Methods: A qualitative design was used in this study. Five interviews were carried out with purposively sampled Zimbabwean women living in Sweden. The interview guide used in data collection focused on understanding their culture on health behaviours and their views on their experiences of health habits in Sweden. The data was analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The analysis of Zimbabwean women’s view of the Swedish culture of healthy behaviour in comparison to their own resulted in a theme; experiencing the power and influence of society which explained how their behaviours were shaped by their own context.The theme; exercise is not part of a Zimbabwean woman’s priority list described the trends in engaging in physical activity. The theme; health promoting environment: non-existent mentioned the limitations they faced in their home environment in pursuing healthy lifestyles. Whereas the theme; appreciating aspects of Sweden explained the elements in Sweden they found to be beneficial in encouraging healthy habits. Lastly the theme; living through the process of acculturation describes the journey they lived through, beginning from the challenges they faced in adjusting, the norms they faced that were different until they eventually adapted and discovered what worked best for them.

Conclusion: Given the significant discrepancies in cultural norms and their possible health effects, the study suggests that conscious efforts be made to help women in settling in. Understanding their cultural background is beneficial in explaining their health habits. This information can be useful in informing future policies and interventions in Sweden to reduce their risk of diseases. In Zimbabwe, it can inform policy makers on how to improve the environment to make it more health promoting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 57
Series
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341X ; 2018:30
Keywords [en]
Discrepancies, cultural norms, health behaviours, women, Zimbabwe, living in Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152717DiVA, id: diva2:1257372
Educational program
Master's Programme in Public Health
Presentation
2018-05-22, Caring Science building, Room A309, Umeå University, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-19 Last updated: 2018-10-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf