Methods: A qualitative description research design was used with five focus groups of 25 public health care providers from five community health centers in G city, South Korea. Focus group interviews were conducted at a time and place convenient to the participants using semi-structured interview guidelines. Audio-recorded interviews ranged 70 to 90 minutes and were immediately transcribed by the researcher. The data were analyzed using conventional qualitative analysis techniques.
Results: All participants were female and ranging in age from 22 years to 54 years. Most participants were public health nurses (76.9%), followed by dietitian (11.5%) and social workers (11.5%). The majority of immigrant clients were young married immigrant women who were situated in multi-layered vulnerability, and unequal power relationship between the couple. They also lacked of awareness of health behaviors. Public health care providers experienced difficulty in identification, enrollment, and retention of immigrants in health care programs, approach towards the most vulnerable group of immigrants, communication, building therapeutic relationships, inconsistency of the service program, and lack of systematic support. Most public health care providers had no prior cultural competence training. They needed to have cultural competence training as an essential continuing education course. They preferred eLearning course which consists of 6~8 sessions which lasts 20-30 minute each.
Conclusion: Public health care providers primarily provided maternal and child healthcare service to vulnerable young married immigrant women. They were situated in multiple challenges because of the vulnerability of the clients and the lack of preparedness for culturally competent care. It is suggested to develop cultural competence training through eLearning that reflects the situation experienced by public health care providers along with systematic support.
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