Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Nursing




Judith Lothian, Ph.D

Committee Member

Dula F. Pacquiao, Ed.D

Committee Member

Jean Rubino, Ed.D


dominicans, health, cultural beliefs, cultural practices, folk care, professional care, culture care theory, interpreters, migrants


Purpose: This study aimed to discover and describe migrant Dominican cultural beliefs and practices related to health, the ways that migrant Dominicans take care of their health in their new environment, and their experience with professional health care in the Northeastern United States.

Design: This descriptive qualitative study was guided by Leininger’s Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality and four-phase analysis method. The health-related beliefs, practices and experiences of a convenience sample of 15 self-identified adult Dominicans living in the United States for six months or more were explored in three focus groups, assisted by trained culturally appropriate interpreters.

Findings: Data analysis of focus group transcripts and observations revealed four themes: (a) stress affects health and well-being, (b) family support and faith in God are essential for healing, and promoting health and well-being, (c) migrant Dominicans use both folk care and professional care to treat illness and promote healing, health, and well-being, and (d) perceptions about the quality of professional care are affected by access to care, cost, communication and expressions of caring practices.

Discussion and Conclusion: Implications and recommendations for nursing practice, education and research are discussed. Design and implementation challenges from this study, and strategies used to bridge cultural and linguistic barriers, may guide others in planning research with similar populations.