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Arch Hellen Med, 27(1), January-February 2010, 78-87


The subjective perceptions of health of immigrant mothers

1Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Postgraduate Programme of Public Health & Health Care Management, Herakleion,
2Department of Social Work, Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, Herakleion, Greece

OBJECTIVE To record the health conditions and investigate the factors that influence the subjective perceptions about health of immigrant mothers residing in the Municipality of Gazi in Crete.

METHOD Immigrant women in the Municipality of Gazi were recruited via their informal networks and a poster campaign. Information on the subjective perceptions of health of the immigrant mothers was elicited using a face-to-face structured interview technique.

RESULTS In the course of the research, home visits were made on 47 women who agreed to participate, at which time interviews were conducted. The percentage of the interviewees who reported a chronic illness (20%) was found to be lower than that in the general population. A small number of the sample (8%) had visited the doctor in the two weeks before the interview. he majority of the women (72%) had not undergone a Pap test for at least three years. The abortion to birth ratio was 3:1 and use of birth control was reported by 48% of the women. The common symptoms that the interviewees reported during the course of the previous year were negatively correlated with their subjective perceptions of health. A positive correlation was observed between their degree of satisfaction with their lives and other factors which were investigated, such as satisfaction with their husbands, themselves and their health.

CONCLUSIONS The findings of the study indicate the need for improved cooperation of the immigrant mothers with organizations and services of the municipalities and the strengthening of inter-social and inter-cultural communication.

Key words: Health, Immigrant mothers, Subjective perception of health.

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