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Challenges, Coping, and Resilience Among Immigrant Parents Caring for a Child With a Disability: An Integrative Review

Purpose: The aim of this integrative review is to synthesize quantitative and qualitative research evidence on challenges in caring for a child with a disability among immigrant parents and to understand their coping strategies and resiliency factors associated with their coping. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify relevant studies from the following databases: MEDLINE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Scopus, PsycINFO, Social work abstract, Cochrane library, and EMBASE. Findings: This review included 25 studies: 1 quantitative, 23 qualitative, and 1 narrative review. The main challenges that parents faced were language barriers, financial hardships, service utilization challenges, poor adaptation to new culture, stigma related to mental illness, discrimination, and social isolation. This review found poor communication and lack of cultural awareness among some healthcare professionals. Immigrant parents used problem-focused coping, avoidance coping, spiritual coping, and social support to manage their challenges. Parents who received social, emotional, and instrumental support were more resilient. Personality traits and faith were protective factors that enhanced resilience. Conclusions: When immigration and disability are considered concurrently, the burden of care multiplies. Immigrant parents with children who have disabilities faced extra challenges related to adaptation, finance, service utilization, and stigma. Healthcare providers can play an important role in aiding these parents in service utilization and adaptation. Significance: This review adds new knowledge on immigrant parents' challenges in caring for their children with disabilities. Such knowledge could help health professionals to develop supportive interventions to enhance parental coping and resilience. Clinical Relevance: Culturally appropriate and sensitive communication and care provided by healthcare providers can facilitate service utilization and reduce perceived stigma. Special training provided to healthcare providers regarding the challenges of these families may enhance awareness. Information support and parental support groups may help to enhance parental coping and reduce isolation. An interpreting service should be provided in all aspects of care.

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Journal of Nursing Scholarship
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