The health seeking behaviours of ageing Niuean women in Central Auckland : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Nursing at Massey University

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Massey University
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This qualitative study encompasses several features in its design. It is exploratory, emergent and the realms of discovery and description are informed by Max van Manen's (1990) human science approach. Van Manen's approach has enabled analysis of the data. Human science is comprised of phenomenology, hermeneutics and language and when coupled with the data collection method of focus groups makes for interesting outcomes. Time is needed to develop the narrative texts as phenomenological interpretation is never complete. There will always be levels of understanding waiting to be discovered. As a New Zealand bom Niuean woman, I have provided a preliminary account of the health seeking behaviours of ageing Niuean women (Matua fifine) in Auckland. The context of health seeking behaviour cannot be realized until there is an understanding of the participant's perceptions of health and illness. Understanding peoples perceptions of health and illness may give insights into the reasons for the decisions that the Matua fifine make when choosing to engage or not engage primary and or secondary health services. This also includes traditional medicine and complementary therapies. The assumption is that people make a direct move to seek a healthcare provider when well and unwell. What is not appreciated are the choices that are also available such as self management or a wait and see approach. Equally important is the role of spirituality, which encompasses Christian beliefs and traditional beliefs. Background information of history and the Niuean way of life, sets the context for this study. Consultation within the Niuean community is an ethical consideration that has paved the way for support for this study. This study will enable the voice of the Matua fifine Niue to be heard so that health services will be able to respond to and preserve their dignity and individuality which are foundational for good health and positive ageing.
New Zealand, Auckland, Niueans, Medical care, Older women, Health attitudes, Health behavior, Health and hygiene, Health services accessibility