J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 Aug;25(3):1067-78. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2014.0147.
Hypertension is a major health concern among Haitian immigrants, one of the largest Caribbean immigrant groups in the United States. Yet, little is known about how Hatian immigrants define and manage hypertension. For this qualitative study, face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 Haitian immigrants in Miami Dade County, Florida. Results indicated that most Haitian immigrants used the Haitian Creole word tansyon to represent hypertension. Tansyon was considered as either a normal condition of the human body or a maladi (illness). Both traditional biomedical and alternative approaches were used to manage hypertension. The findings show that how Haitian immigrants defined hypertension shaped their beliefs about its occurrence and the resulting management strategies used. Those who believed tansyon was a normal body condition did not take any management measures. Awareness and understanding of Haitian immigrants’ beliefs about and approaches to hypertension management can enhance culturally sensitive care and improve health outcomes.