Symptom Manifestation and Expression of Korean Women Suffering with Depression in USA

Tuesday, 14 July 2009: 8:30 AM

Kunsook S. Bernstein, RN, PhD, NP, CASAC
Nursing, Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand how the Korean women suffering from depression manifested and expressed their symptoms.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify culture bound depressive symptom manifestation and expression of Korean women.

Purpose: To present the outcome of the ethnographic study of the symptom manifestation and expression of Korean immigrant women suffering from depression

Methods: Ethnographic method following the Spradley's Developmental Research Sequence was used, with a sample of 17 Korean immigrant women who scored mild to severe depression by a Korean version of the Hamilton Depression Inventory Scale. The data were consisted of tape-recorded interviews, field notes, and diaries.

Results: Themes elicited were emotional entrapment, embedded self with moral and family responsibilities, disappointment of not being able to live a normal life, and emotional restraint as emotions were not generally expressed verbally, but somatically, bodily, and metaphorically.

Conclusion: Understanding of the culture-specific symptom manifestation and expression of depressed Korean women can assist nurses in caring for this population and lead to the development of culturally sensitive nursing care. The outcome of this study may contribute to both the nurse and depressed Korean women by improving their therapeutic alliance and treatment retention.