Given the magnitude of the diabetes epidemic among Canadian Aboriginals and the corresponding need to develop physical activity interventions, the aims of this study were to: 1) examine the meaning of physical activity; 2) assess physical activity behavior levels; and 3) examine the association of key Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) constructs with physical activity behavior. Thirty-four Aboriginals with diabetes completed a survey composed of questions regarding: 1) the perceived meaning of physical activity; 2) physical activity behavior; and 3) SCT constructs. An emerging theme revealed that some participants perceived physical activity leisure-time activities as appropriate across the lifespan, while the majority perceived leisure-time activities to be only for youth. Based on the reported energy expenditure estimates, 61.5% of participants were categorized as sedentary. However, when occupational and household activities were taken into account, 33.0% were categorized as sedentary. Bivariate correlations revealed that no SCT constructs were significantly associated with energy expenditure scores. Results suggest that specific SCT construct items may help understand physical activity behavior change.
First Nations peoples bring a particular history and cultural perspective to healing and well-being that significantly influences their health behaviors. The authors used grounded theory methods to describe and explain how ethnocultural affiliation and gender influence the process that 22 First Nations people underwent when making lifestyle changes related to their coronary artery disease (CAD) risk. The transcribed interviews revealed a core variable, meeting the challenge. Meeting the challenge of CAD risk management was influenced by intrapersonal, interpersonal (relationships with others), extrapersonal (i.e., the community and government), sociodemographic, and gendered factors. Salient elements for the participants included their beliefs about origins of illness, the role of family, challenges to accessing information, financial and resource management, and the gendered element of body image. Health care providers need to understand the historical, social, and culturally embedded factors that influence First Nations people's appraisal of their CAD.
In a phenomenological research study with a purposeful sample, 6 Ojibwa and Cree indigenous women healers from Canada and the United States shared their experience of being a traditional healer. Using stories obtained during open-ended, unstructured interviews, in this article I depict the lives, backgrounds, and traditional healing practices of women who, in the past, have not been afforded an opportunity to dialogue about their healing art and abilities. The methods of these women healers, their arts and their gifts, are different from those of Western conventional medicine because of dissimilar world views related to health and illness. An increased awareness of health care providers related to the ancient art of traditional healing currently practiced in communities by gifted women who provide culturally specific holistic healing and health care is essential.
The use of peer facilitators in health programs has great potential. One important application is prevention and control of type 2 diabetes among American Indians.
To explore the experience of American Indian facilitators in a culturally appropriate intervention (Talking Circles) on 2 Northern Plains reservations. The Talking Circles offered a forum for educational dialogue on diabetes risk factors and the management of type 2 diabetes.
Phenomenology, a qualitative research approach, was used to answer the research question: "What did Native Talking Circle facilitators experience?" Participants were 4 lay health workers from the intervention reservations who had been trained to present a diabetes curriculum while coordinating and guiding the group discussion. During open-ended, taped interviews, the facilitators shared their experiences conducting the Talking Circles. Analysis categorized the experiences into common themes to explain the phenomena and cultural construction of oral discussions (Talking Circles) of diabetes.
Themes included the concept of "a calling" to do the work, which included a self-growth process, a blending of 2 worldviews as a diabetes intervention strategy, the importance of translating educational materials in a liaison role, and commitment to tribal people and communities.
The experience of the facilitators was positive because they were knowledgeable about American Indian culture and worldview and were trained in both Talking Circle facilitation and type 2 diabetes.
Lack of access to care, funding limitations, cultural, and social barriers are challenges specific to tribal communities that have led to adverse cancer outcomes among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN). While the cancer navigator model has been shown to be effective in other underserved communities, it has not been widely implemented in Indian Country. We conducted in-depth interviews with 40 AI/AN patients at tribal clinics in Idaho and Oregon. We developed the survey instrument in partnership with community members to ensure a culturally appropriate semi-structured questionnaire. Questions explored barriers to accessing care, perceptions of the navigator program, satisfaction, and recommendations. AI/AN cancer patients reported physical, emotional, financial, and transportation barriers to care, but most did not feel there were any cultural barriers to receiving care. Navigator services most commonly used included decision making, referrals, transportation, scheduling appointments, and communication. Satisfaction with the program was high. Our study provides a template to develop a culturally appropriate survey instrument for use with an AI/AN population, which could be adapted for use with other indigenous patient populations. Although our sample was small, our qualitative analysis facilitated a deeper understanding of the barriers faced by this population and how a navigator program may best address them. The results reveal the strengths and weakness of this program, and provide baseline patient satisfaction numbers which will allow future patient navigator programs to better create evaluation benchmarks.
Cites: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Oct;21(10):1673-81 PMID 23045542
Cites: MMWR Surveill Summ. 2004 Jun 4;53(3):1-108 PMID 15179359
Because of the questionable applicability to extant health promotion models and middle-range theories to aboriginal peoples, foundational inquiries examining the nature of cultural beliefs and ways of knowing about health within the cultures of various ethnic groups are imperative. This article describes the ways of knowing about health reported by Ojibwe people during an ethnographic inquiry in the Great Lakes region. These ways included stories from the oral tradition, authoritative knowledge of elders, "commonsense" models of illness and health, spiritual knowledge, and knowing oneself. The health-world view, a conceptual orientation for investigating health beliefs, is offered.
In this study, a series of focus groups were conducted to gain an understanding of the nature of stress among Canadian Aboriginal women and men living with diabetes. Specifically, attention was given to the meanings Aboriginal peoples with diabetes attach to their lived experiences of stress, and the major sources or causes of stress in their lives. The key common themes identified are concerned not only with health-related issues (i.e. physical stress of managing diabetes, psychological stress of managing diabetes, fears about the future, suffering the complications of diabetes, and financial aspects of living with diabetes), but also with marginal economic conditions (e.g. poverty, unemployment); trauma and violence (e.g. abuse, murder, suicide, missing children, bereavement); and cultural, historical, and political aspects linked to the identity of being Aboriginal (e.g. 'deep-rooted racism', identity problems). These themes are, in fact, acknowledged not as mutually exclusive, but as intertwined. Furthermore, the findings suggest that it is important to give attention to diversity in the Aboriginal population. Specifically, Métis-specific stressors, as well as female-specific stressors, were identified. An understanding of stress experienced by Aboriginal women and men with diabetes has important implications for policy and programme planning to help eliminate or reduce at-risk stress factors, prevent stress-related illnesses, and enhance their health and life quality.
Alaska Native women have encountered many obstacles in the health care system which deter them from adhering to cancer screening recommendations. To improve access, it was necessary for us to listen to them and their attitudes about health care. As a result of this assessment, we changed our approach resulting in an overall increase in screening rates from 14% to 62%. A case example is presented to demonstrate barriers to cancer screening and our techniques for overcoming them.
BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest that American Indian and Alaska Native women have important barriers to cancer screening and underuse cancer screening tests. METHODS: We examined the breast and cervical cancer screening practices of 4,961 American Indian and Alaska Native women in 47 states from 1992 through 1997 by using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. RESULTS: About 65.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 60.2 to 69.9%] of women in this sample aged 50 years or older had received a mammogram in the past 2 years. About 82.6% (95% CI 80.1 to 85.2%) of women aged 18 years or older who had not undergone a hysterectomy had received a Papanicolaou test in the past 3 years. Older women and those with less education were less likely to be screened. Women who had seen a physician in the past year were much more likely to have been screened. CONCLUSIONS: These results underscore the need for continued efforts to ensure that American Indian and Alaska Native women who are elderly or medically underserved have access to cancer screening services.
A dialogue with five Native American scholars provides insight into conducting research and publishing resulting manuscripts on Native American topics, specifically healing beliefs and practices. This information provides a means to develop sensitivity and create understanding about concerns held by Native Americans regarding sharing certain defined cultural information with those outside the culture. The article identifies salient tribal issues related to research, discusses perspectives important to tribal nations and Native individuals surrounding research, and supplies a base on which to formulate further discussions.