PMID: 7941485Aug 1, 1994Paper

Health perceptions among older urban American Indians

Western Journal of Nursing Research
D C Hatton


There is a dearth of empirically based accounts dealing with health from the perspective of older American Indians. Some have even referred to these individuals as a "forgotten population." The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the phenomenon of health among urbanized members of this vulnerable population. More specifically, the study focused on how these individuals perceived their health and how they managed their health problems. Using the grounded theory method, discoveries indicated that these older adults constructed their ideas of health by observing signs of illness, incorporating the ideas of others, and evaluating getting around. Moreover, their health ideas often reflected a biomedical perspective. The data analysis also revealed factors in the historical and contemporary context that had salient consequences for these individuals' health beliefs and practices. Research implications include future studies of the complex factors that have consequences for health beliefs and practices, as well as a critical examination of the underlying social conditions that relate to health among these older American Indians.


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