“‘We’d Just Patch Ourselves up’: Preference for Holistic Approaches to Healthcare and Traditional Medicine among Members of a State-Recognized Tribe”

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Abstract

Background:Health disparities between Native Americans and white Americans persist due to a variety of factors, including colonization, poverty, and racism. Racist interpersonal interactions between nurses and other healthcare providers and tribal members may also contribute to reluctance among Native Americans to engage with Western healthcare systems. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to better understand the healthcare experiences of members of a state-recognized Gulf Coast tribe. Methods: In partnership with a community advisory board, 31 semistructured interviews were conducted, transcribed, and analyzed utilizing a qualitative description approach. Results: All participants mentioned their preferences, views about, or experiences of using natural or traditional medicine approaches (referenced 65 times). Emergent themes include (a) preference for and use of traditional medicine; (b) resistance to western healthcare systems; (c) preference for holistic approaches to health; and (d) negative provider interpersonal interactions contributing to reluctance in seeking care. Conclusion: These findings suggest that integrating a holistic conceptualization of health and traditional medicine practices into Western healthcare settings would benefit Native Americans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-48
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Holistic Nursing
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • cultural humility
  • holistic nursing
  • indigenous
  • native American/Alaska native health
  • traditional medicine

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