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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 327–331 | Cite as

A Meta-synthesis of Post-migration Changes in Marital Relationships in Canada

  • Sepali GurugeEmail author
  • Khosro Refaie Shirpak
  • Ilene Hyman
  • Margareth Zanchetta
  • Denise Gastaldo
  • Souraya Sidani
Systematic Review
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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.

Key words

Post-migration changes marital relationships immigrant couples meta-synthesis Canada 

Résumé

Objectifs

L’immigration dans un nouveau pays est un changement de vie et un défi de taille qui peut directement et indirectement affecter la santé des particuliers et des familles. Nous avons mené un examen systématique afin de déceler les changements post-migratoires et d’en comprendre les incidences sur les relations matrimoniales des immigrants au Canada.

Méthode

Métasynthèse d’articles qualitatifs selon les étapes de la méta-ethnographie de Noblit et Hare et par la méthode des métadonnées de Paterson et al.

Synthèse

Quatre articles de revues et un chapitre de livre répondaient à nos critères d’inclusion. Notre synthèse de ces études a permis de cerner trois grands thèmes dans les changements post-migratoires importants vécus par le couple: le changement dans les rôles sexuels et les relations sexuelles; la perte des réseaux sociaux et du soutien social; et la déqualification et la déprofessionnalisation. Un quatrième thème, l’importance des communications, est ressorti des trois autres. Ces changements post-migratoires étaient associés à quatre résultats: les mauvais traitements; la séparation/le divorce; le fait de rester ensemble; et la résilience. Ces changements post-migratoires étaient courants dans les neuf communautés ethniques à l’étude et touchaient à la fois le couple et les membres du couple, de façon positive et négative.

Conclusion

Il est utile de connaître les changements post-migratoires, leurs résultats et leurs voies associatives pour élaborer des activités de promotion de la santé qui favorisent la résilience du couple ainsi que des interventions sanitaires pour réduire l’incidence négative des changements sur le couple et les particuliers. Ces activités et interventions doivent être planifiées aux niveaux micro, méso, et macro de la société.

Mots clés

changements post-migratoires relations matrimoniales couples immigrants métasynthèse Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sepali Guruge
    • 1
    Email author
  • Khosro Refaie Shirpak
    • 1
  • Ilene Hyman
    • 2
  • Margareth Zanchetta
    • 1
  • Denise Gastaldo
    • 3
  • Souraya Sidani
    • 1
  1. 1.Daphne Cockwell School of NursingRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of NursingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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