Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Missal, Bernita


Background: The increased stigma of mental health in the African population is a major barrier to seeking care. Nurses need to understand the influence of culture and spirituality in caring for this population. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review is to if there is a relationship between mental health and spirituality in a Kenyan population living in the United States. Results: The review consisted of 16 articles. The major findings were divided into 3 areas: mental health and Africa, mental health and spirituality, and spirituality and Africans. The major themes include stigma, lack of resources, immigration, religion and mental health, and spirituality and mental health, and religion and mental health. Stigma, lack of resources, and immigration were identified as barriers to seeking care. Spirituality was linked to the etiology of mental health through cultural beliefs. Religion provided specific coping strategies through social support, prayer, and meditation. Conclusion: The research indicated a link between mental health and spirituality in an African population. Stigma and lack of resources lead to this population living with mental health disorders in secret. As a group, immigrants are predisposed mental disorders. Africans are more likely to seek care from spiritual leaders due to the etiology of mental illness. Implications for Research and Practice: Madeleine Leininger’s transcultural nursing theory provides a framework for nurses in practice. Nurses need to be aware of cultural beliefs of mental health care in order to provider appropriate interventions.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons