Breaking traditions: sexual health and ethnicity in nursing research: a literature review.
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AbstractAIM: The aim of this paper is to explore some reasons for the lack of focus on ethnicity and sexual health in nursing research, and suggest ways to advance the nursing evidence-base required for practice development. BACKGROUND: The United Kingdom National Strategy for Sexual Health and human immunodeficiency virus published in July 2001 highlighted the continued rise in sexual ill health amongst minority ethnic groups. In order to improve sexual health, research evidence is needed explain why particular ethnic groups appear to be at greater risk of sexual ill health. The Strategy identified nurses as key to bringing about improvements in sexual health. Nursing research includes many studies exploring links between ethnicity and health. However, with the exception of extensive work on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome as a specific disease, nursing research into ethnicity has not systematically included sexual health. METHODS: Literature searches were conducted using the BIDS database, World Wide Web and United Kingdom Department of health website between June 2000 and August 2003. Papers written in English incorporating the keywords 'sexual health', 'sexually transmitted infection' and 'health and ethnicity' in the title or abstract were selected for review. FINDINGS: Nursing research into the association between sexual health and ethnicity is rare. It has been hampered by a variety of political and social constraints concerning the nature of sexual health practice in nursing, researching sexual health, and researching ethnicity and health. The result is a dearth of research evidence to support the development of sexual health practice and the education of healthcare professionals to underpin care of minority ethnic clients. CONCLUSIONS: Barriers to researching ethnicity and sexual health by nurses must be addressed through nursing education and practice. Without this, a detailed evidence base will fail to materialize and healthcare practices to implement the priorities to improve sexual health in minority ethnic communities will remain undeveloped.
CitationJournal of Advanced Nursing, 51(5): 511-519
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
CollectionsCentre for Health and Social Care Improvement
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