The impact of settlement on the health of Indian women in Ontario: A narrative study

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University of New Brunswick


Background. Women who immigrate from India experience health decline during settlement. Yet little is known about how their settlement experience impacts their health. This study aims to contribute to understanding this experience. Method: Eight Indian women aged 25-45 were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling. Guided by narrative inquiry, data collection included individual interviews and a demographic survey. Data analysis followed Clandinin and Connelly’s method. Results. Narratives described three phases of settlement: discovering and seeking, compromising and surviving, and transitioning and accepting. Throughout these phases, systemic barriers and a lack of support contributed to health decline. Participants recommended employment, healthcare, and navigation support improvements. Discussion. Continued health decline is associated with functional impairment, increased healthcare costs, chronic disease, and mortality risk. This situation threatens Canada’s reliance on immigration to sustain our industry, economy, and care for our elders. Alternatively, improved support and removal of barriers could promote Indian women’s health during settlement.