“‘You Just Want to Give me Some Medicine and be on my Way’: Preferences, Beliefs, and Experiences Related to Western Medication among Members of a State-Recognized Tribe”

Sarah E. Reese, Jessica L. Liddell, Laila Mascarena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Native American/American Indian (NA/AI) people have higher rates of chronic disease, including substance use and mental health disorders, compared to White Americans. Though pharmaceuticals can be helpful in addressing many chronic healthcare conditions, many people do not take medications as prescribed. NA/AI identity has been found to be associated with lower rates of medication adherence compared to White Americans. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to better understand NA/AI women's perceptions, beliefs, and experiences related to medication. Methods: Thirty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with NA/AI women from a state-recognized tribe located in the Gulf South. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a qualitative description approach. Results: Eighteen women discussed their experiences using medications when asked about their healthcare experiences. Participants identified the following themes in their discussion of medication: (a) Cost of Medication as a Barrier; (b) Negative Side Effects of Western Medication; (c) Fear of Resistance and Dependence; (d) Preference for Traditional Medicine or None; and (e) Lack of Communication around Medications from Providers. Conclusion: Our findings support the growing call for cultural safety within medical settings and integrating NA/AI conceptualizations of health and well-being and traditional practices into western healthcare settings to better support NA/AI people.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Holistic Nursing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

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

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