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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 96, Supplement 1, pp S22–S27 | Cite as

Health and Well-Being for Métis Women in Manitoba

  • Judith G. BartlettEmail author
Article

Abstract

Background

Continuing compromised Aboriginal health status and increasing opportunity for new Aboriginal health surveys require that Aboriginal understandings of health and well-being be documented. This research begins exploration of whether the Aboriginal Life Promotion Framework© may increase culturally pertinent planning, collection and analysis of health survey data.

Methods

A quasi-phenomenological tradition of enquiry was employed to gain understanding of the lived experience of participants. Data were collected through focus groups utilizing a ‘talking circle’ methodology. A participatory research approach involved three large Aboriginal organizations.

Results

Conceptions of health and of well-being are different entities for these Métis women. Health was most often more reflective of physical issues. Well-being was much broader, holistic and inclusive of the dimensions of spiritual, emotional, physical and mental/intellectual aspects of living, consistent with the first circle of the Aboriginal Life Promotion Framework.

Conclusions

The implications of this study should be important to health providers, and policy developers regardless of sector. Métis women in this study show significant strengths in the spiritual, emotional and intellectual/mental aspects of life, areas that could be incorporated into health promotion approaches. Physical health was focussed on ensuring a healthy diet and exercise, yet most adult women in the study experienced stress around goals that are seen as relatively unattainable. The data produced in this study should be utilized to develop and test survey questions that can be applied to a larger portion of the Métis population. The Aboriginal Life Promotion Framework is useful as an organizing tool for systematically exploring elements of living.

MeSH terms

Indians North American Aboriginal Métis Canada participatory research focus groups holistic health promotion 

Résumé

Contexte

Pour contrer l’affaiblissement de l’état de santé des Autochtones et accroître la possibilité d’entreprendre de nouvelles enquêtes sur la santé autochtone, il faut documenter la perception qu’ont les Autochtones de la santé et du bien-être. Notre étude est une première analyse visant à déterminer si l’outil Aboriginal Life Promotion FrameworkMD („ cadre de promotion de la vie autochtone ”) peut rehausser la planification, la cueillette et l’analyse d’indicateurs de santé adaptés à la réalité culturelle autochtone.

Méthode

Nous avons eu recours à une tradition d’enquête quasi phénoménologique pour mieux comprendre le vécu des participantes. Les données ont été recueillies à l’occasion de „ cercles de discussion ” en groupe. Enfin, nous avons adopté une démarche de recherche participative en faisant appel à trois grands organismes autochtones.

Résultats

La santé et le bien-être étaient deux notions différentes pour les femmes métisses participantes. En général, la santé désigne pour elles tout ce qui a trait au corps. Le bien-être, une notion beaucoup plus vaste, englobe la dimension spirituelle, affective, physique et mentale de la vie et correspond au premier cercle de l’outil Aboriginal Life Promotion Framework.

Conclusions

Cette étude devrait avoir des répercussions importantes pour les dispensateurs de soins de santé et les décideurs, quel que soit leur secteur d’activité. Les Métisses ayant participé à l’étude ont manifesté des forces considérables sur le plan spirituel, affectif et mental - trois aspects qui pourraient être intégrés dans les démarches de promotion de la santé. Pour ces femmes, la santé physique était liée à une saine alimentation et à l’exercice, mais pour la plupart des femmes adultes de notre étude, ces objectifs étaient une source de stress, car ils leur semblaient hors d’atteinte. Les données de l’étude devraient servir à élaborer et à tester un questionnaire d’enquête, que l’on pourrait ensuite administrer à un plus grand pourcentage de la population métisse. Le cadre employé est un instrument d’organisation qui s’avérerait utile pour une analyse systématique des aspects du vécu.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, Department of Community Health Science, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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