Determinants of Black Women's Health in Rural and Remote Communities


  • Josephine Etowa
  • Juliana Wiens
  • Wanda Thomas Bernard
  • Barbara Clow


The On the Margins project investigated health status, health-care delivery, and use of health services among African-Canadian women residing in rural and remote regions of the province of Nova Scotia. A participatory action research approach provided a framework for the study. Triangulation of data-collection methods - interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires - formed the basis of data generation. A total of 237 in-depth one-on-one interviews were conducted and coded verbatim. Atlas-ti data-management software was used to facilitate coding and analysis. Six themes emerged from the data: Black women's multiple roles, perceptions of health, experiences with the health-care system, factors affecting health, strategies for managing health, and envisioning solutions. The authors focus on 1 of these themes, factors affecting Black women's health, and discuss 3 subthemes: race and racism, poverty and unemployment, and access to health care.