Healthcare Needs during Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Childrearing of Chinese Immigrant Women in Korea

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Geum-Hee Jeong, PhD, RN
Division of Nursing, Hallym University, Chuncheon, South Korea
Kyungwon Kim, PhD, MS, RN, BS
Department of Nursing, Daegu Haany University, Daegu, South Korea
Sunghee Baik, PhD, RN, BS
Department of Nursing, Baekseok University,, Cheonan-city, South Korea

Purpose: With the increase in international marriage, the number of immigrant women who were married to Korean men has been on the rise to 120,146 in 2010. Major portion of those who immigrated to Korea through interracial marriage was Chinese. Married immigrant women are usually lack of appropriate health intervention and educational services. They were more likely to have problems before and after giving birth than the native Korean women. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify health care needs for the entire process of reproduction, including pregnancy, delivery, postpartum care, and childrearing, among Chinese women who immigrated to Korea through international marriage, for the purpose of providing the baseline data for developing reproductive health promotion programs for married migrant women in Korea. 

Methods: Subjects in this study included 148 Chinese immigrant women visiting 25 health centers in Korea. Based on Roy's four modes of adaptation, this study used a preliminary tool for childbearing and childrearing process, which included the total of 53 question items. Cronbach's α of the internal reliability of the data was .96. The data were collected in 2012. Translators working at health centers visited and had an interview with subjects. Data analyzed by SPSS 18.0 Window Program. For the characteristics of subjects' demographic and the entire process of childbearing and childrearing, descriptive statistics were calculated. For the subjects' health care needs for the entire process of pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care, and childrearing, descriptive statistics were calculated. 

Results: The average age of the subjects was 32.0. Educational background showed that high school graduates are the largest portion, 48.67%.  Average length of time living in Korea after immigration is 3.3 years. Portion of jobless subjects is 85.2%.  As much as 66.2% of the subjects reported the past experience of pregnancy prior to this study, 20.3% was pregnant at the time of collecting the data. The majority of the subjects (96.6%) had an experience of getting prenatal care during pregnancy at a hospital (87.1%), and at health center (10.8%). Almost everyone in this study gave birth at a hospital (87.8%). As much as 52.0% of the subjects reported that husband was the most helpful person in taking care of them during pregnancy and childbirth, hospital personnel to 31.1%, health center workers to 25.7%, and husband's family members to 13.5%. As far as the information and educational methods were concerned, attending lectures or educational programs (52.0%) was the most common form of getting information, followed by educational booklets (20.9%), internet data (16.2%) and individual interview (14.2%). The score for general health care was 3.42, after that, postpartum health care (3.39), health care for delivery (3.38), and health care during pregnancy (3.35) in order. 

Conclusion: When the effect of fertility power of Chinese immigrant women on the future paradigm in fertility rates of Korea is taken into consideration, it would be urgent to develop a more effective health care services and educational programs that lead those ethnic group of women to be adjusted to fit the mainstream of the Korean society in order to give birth to healthy children and successful outcomes of pregnancy. It is necessary to develop cross-cultural educational programs focused on educating Korean men to have friendly attitude toward gender role exchange.