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.
Promoting culturally competent care for diabetes is critical to addressing the health inequities of indigenous peoples. Based on a review of studies published between 1995 and 2007, the author presents a descriptive analysis of Aboriginal diabetes knowledge guiding the involvement of advanced practice nurses in programs of care. While the literature review is not systematic, it is sufficiently comprehensive to provide a theoretical backdrop to Aboriginal diabetes programs of practice and research. In terms of a particular area of Aboriginal diabetes literature, it also provides a snapshot of community-based diabetes research focused on holistic methodologies historically used in the Canadian context. The Aboriginal diabetes literature is found to be a source of rich information. Analysis of holistic methodologies, however, reveals underdevelopment of research and limited use of key holistic guidelines for Aboriginal policy research.
The purpose was to understand the experience of being an Anishinabe man healer. Of particular relevance, healers explained how they provide Indigenous health care in a world dominated by Western biomedicine.
A phenomenological approach was utilized to interview four Anishinabe men healers who reside in the United States and Canada.
In-person interviews were conducted using an interview guide. The interviews were audiotaped when permitted; otherwise notes were taken. Data analysis was conducted using techniques from Colaizzi and van Manen.
Seven themes were identified: (1) The Healer's Path, (2) Health as Wholeness, (3) Healing Ways, (4) Healing Stories, (5) Culture Interwoven with Healing, (6) Healing Exchange, and (7) Connection with Western Medicine.
The themes identified inform nursing practice by pointing out the importance of culture within traditional Indigenous healing, as well as the need for a holistic approach when caring for Indigenous people. Additionally, the Indigenous men healers acknowledged their connection with Western medicine as part of the process of healing for their clients. This emphasizes the need for nurses and other health care providers to become knowledgeable regarding traditional Indigenous healing that their clients may be receiving, in order to foster open communication.
To describe the meaning of the childbirth experience to Orthodox Jewish women living in Canada.
In this phenomenologic study, audiotaped interviews were conducted. Tapes were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for emergent themes. Demographic data also were collected.
Thirty Orthodox Jewish women who had given birth to healthy full-term newborns at a university-affiliated Jewish hospital in Montreal, Canada, participated in the study. Data were collected within 2 weeks after childbirth, either in the mother's postpartum hospital room or in her home.
The following themes reflecting spiritual/cultural dimensions of the childbirth experience were identified: (a) birth as a significant life event, (b) birth as a bittersweet paradox, (c) the spiritual dimensions of giving birth, (d) the importance of obedience to rabbinical law, and (e) a sense of support and affirmation.
This study documents cultural, religious, and spiritual dimensions of the childbirth experience of Orthodox Jewish women living in Canada. Knowledge and appreciation of the multiple dimensions of childbirth reflected by this study's findings can contribute to holistic and culturally competent nursing care of women and newborns.
Research on immigrant health emphasizes that the elderly are more vulnerable than other age groups in many immigrant populations. This study describes the meanings of health, illness, and disease for Iranian elderly immigrants in Sweden and their relationships with life disruptions. Analysis of interviews using an interpretive-phenomenological method illustrates that the participants, experience health as continuity and balance in life. Any disruption of this balance creates a sense of illness that is only partially related to the emergence of disease. Participants did not view health and disease as polarized. Rather, disease is just one component among many that may disrupt the experience of health. Health is perceived as a sense of well-being, can be achieved in spite of disease, and can be disrupted even in the absence of disease. This description of the meaning of health, disease, and illness contrasts with the Western biomedical perspective and is similar in its holism to various non-Western medical systems and complementary approaches. This knowledge can foster more culturally sensitive care.
In this Review we delve into the underlying causes of health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and provide an Indigenous perspective to understanding these inequalities. We are able to present only a snapshot of the many research publications about Indigenous health. Our aim is to provide clinicians with a framework to better understand such matters. Applying this lens, placed in context for each patient, will promote more culturally appropriate ways to interact with, to assess, and to treat Indigenous peoples. The topics covered include Indigenous notions of health and identity; mental health and addictions; urbanisation and environmental stresses; whole health and healing; and reconciliation.
The potential of storytelling to effect change and produce new knowledge is being recognized across disciplines. Two conditions are necessary to realize these goals: first, reading of stories must be contextualized to include larger social and political landscapes; and second, how stories are read and toward what end must be closely examined. This article explores these issues with reference to the subject of the "mental health" or emotional well-being of a cohort of postrevolution Iranian women from metropolitan Vancouver, British Columbia. Reading their stories at a particular moment in time shows that well-being is essentially grounded in spaces and places where we live, work, and engage in social interactions. This commonplace knowledge, which is subdued in medical discourse, is retrieved through Iranian women's stories of life and living told at a time when their experiences, histories, and viewpoints on health are subject to erasure.
Through advances in interpretive inquiry, diverse ways of knowing and experiencing reality are increasingly made explicit in nursing literature. Nevertheless, the privileges of empiricism continue alongside a lack of language to consider other realms of reality. In this column, Aboriginal ways of constituting health and reality are explored. Morley's four categorizations of health belief systems provide a useful tool for understanding diverse worldviews. In contrast, Atleo drew on Nuu-chah-nulth origin stories to address the complexities and ambiguities of Aboriginal health beliefs. Approaches for bridging cultural differences are explored with a view toward inclusive healthcare and nursing practice.
Data were analyzed from an ethnically diverse convenience sample comprising 1071 adults participating in a multisite study. Older African Americans, Hispanics, and females were more likely to use prayer as a complementary health strategy for HIV-related anxiety, depression, fatigue, and nausea. Implications for future studies are discussed.