Coping with asthma in immigrant Hispanic families: A focus group study

Giselle Mosnaim*, Claire Kohrman, Lisa K. Sharp, Marion E. Wolf, Laura S. Sadowski, Lori Ramos, Leslie C. Grammer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about how childhood asthma affects immigrant Hispanic families in the United States. Qualitative research is effective for understanding the social, cultural, functional, and structural aspects of asthma in the family context. Furthermore, such knowledge is necessary to develop culturally appropriate interventions for these families. Objectives: To describe participants' perceptions of their roles in caring for an asthmatic child, to compare family patterns of caring for an asthmatic child by parents' country of origin, to identify barriers to caring for an asthmatic child, and to evaluate specific coping needs of low-income immigrant Hispanic families caring for an asthmatic child. Methods: Five focus groups were conducted with low-income, immigrant, Spanish-speaking Hispanic adults caring for an asthmatic child, including community health workers, mothers, fathers, and grandparents, along with women with asthma. Audiotaped focus groups were transcribed verbatim in Spanish, forward translated into English, and back translated into Spanish. Data analysis was performed using qualitative analytic methods. Results: Forty-one participants represented a range of countries of origin. Different themes emerged for community health workers vs parents and grandparents and for women vs men caring for a child with asthma. All the participants reported strong beliefs in using folk medicines. Barriers identified included language, culture, poverty, lack of health insurance, and poor living conditions. Conclusions: Results highlight the lack of asthma self-management skills, diagnostic uncertainty, and the use of folk medicine as factors that should be taken into consideration when tailoring interventions to improve asthma outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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