Author(s): Guruge S, Shirpak KR, Hyman I, Zanchetta M, Gastaldo D,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Immigration to a new country constitutes a major life change and challenge that can directly and indirectly affect the health of individuals and families. A systematic review was conducted to identify post-migration changes and understand their impact on immigrants' marital relationships in Canada. METHOD: Using Noblit and Hare's meta-ethnography steps and Paterson et al.'s meta-data method, we conducted a meta-synthesis of qualitative articles. SYNTHESIS: Four journal articles and one book chapter met the inclusion criteria. Our synthesis of these studies identified three key themes reflecting the major post-migration changes experienced by couples: changes in gender and sexual relations, loss of social networks and support, and de-skilling and de-professionalization. The importance of communication emerged as a fourth theme that cut across the three key themes. These post-migration changes were common across nine ethnic communities, and affected the couple as a unit as well as individuals within this unit, both negatively and positively. The changes were associated with four outcomes: abuse, separation/divorce, staying with each other, and resilience. The synthesis also showed various pathways that link the post-migration changes and their outcomes. CONCLUSION: Understanding post-migration changes, their outcomes, and the pathways that link them is useful in developing health promotion activities to promote couples' resilience as well as health interventions to reduce the negative impact of the changes on couples and individuals. These activities and interventions must be planned at micro, meso, and macro levels of society.
This article was published in Can J Public Health
and referenced in Arts and Social Sciences Journal