Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Latin and Asian-Pacific immigrants are the fastest growing new-comer groups in the U.S. contributing to 85% of immigration totals. New immigrants experience multiple barriers to accessing genetic counseling resulting from cultural, linguistic, financial, and educational factors as well as having unique perceptions on health, illness, reproduction, and life as a whole. In addition, new immigrants lack familiarity with Western medical practices as well as genetic risk and available interventions. We provided perinatal genetic services to 2430 clients, mostly new immigrants of Latin and Asian-Pacific descent over a period of 6 years. Counseling aides sharing the clients' cultural backgrounds were employed. A study assessing the efficacy of cross-cultural education regarding advanced maternal age risk and amniocentesis was implemented and linked to a database containing demographic and clinical information. Practical observations relating to cultural beliefs in the two groups relevant to perinatal genetic counseling were made.
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