Maternal Health in Developing Caribbean and Latin American Populations


Charise Guidinger, RN BSN


Lisa Duggan, PhD, RN, FNP-BC


Nursing (College of Health, Education and Human Development)


Purpose: The objective of this paper is to complete an integrative literature review on maternal health in developing Caribbean and Latin American (CLA) nations, focusing on the disparities within the healthcare systems of these countries and the necessity for both maternal health awareness and promotion models. Methods: An integrative literature review search was conducted using EBSCO, Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, Medline Plus, PubMed, and Women’s Studies International indexes. Key phrases used were “maternal health,” “Latin American and Caribbean,” “healthcare access,” and “women’s health and developing countries.” Search results were refined for peer-reviewed journals, between the years 2005 and 2013, with regional selection of CLA nations, and articles pertaining to maternal and reproductive health. Fifteen articles were selected and reviewed for synthesis. Results: Using Madeline Leininger\\\'s Transcultural Nursing Theory, the articles were grouped into three categories: contextual factors affecting the healthcare in CLA populations, income-based disparities in women’s health among CLA populations, and specific maternal health issues among this population. Conclusions: Implications for nursing education, research, policy, and practice are discussed based on the literature review. As advanced practice nurses strive to improve maternal health in CLA, maternal health awareness will increase both regionally and globally.

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