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Diet, Diabetes and Relatedness in a Central Australian Aboriginal Settlement: Some Qualitative Recommendations to Facilitate the Creation of Culturally Sensitive Health Promotion Initiatives

Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals
Volume 20 Issue 3 (Aug 2009)

Abstract: Issue addressed: At the request of chronically-ill Aboriginal patients in Central Australia with whom I have worked for the past 25 years, ethnographic research was conducted to provide a better understanding of how diabetes sufferers cope with their illness in everyday life for the creation of more culturally sensitive health promotion initiatives. Methods: Based on analyses of participant-observation data and semi-structured interviews over an eight month period with 84 Aboriginal diabetic sufferers and their kin, as well as conversations with medical staff working at the local clinic, this paper discusses contemporary Aboriginal contemporary dietary practices, post-colonial demand-sharing economy, deployment of various regimes of care and health promotion initiatives. Results: Diabetic patients lack access to what is determined key by health care providers to offset ill-health such as diabetic-friendly food. In order to cope and make sense of their chronic illness, diabetic patients oscillate between different regimes of care - biomedical, demand-sharing economy, and traditional and Christian religious institutions. Conclusion: To ensure a certain measure of success, long-term health promotion initiatives need to be grounded in a Warlpiri caring praxis of 'looking after', and rely on realistic collaborations among patients and their kin, local health care providers, and other community-based organisations.

To cite this article: Dussart, Francoise. Diet, Diabetes and Relatedness in a Central Australian Aboriginal Settlement: Some Qualitative Recommendations to Facilitate the Creation of Culturally Sensitive Health Promotion Initiatives [online]. Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals, Vol. 20, No. 3, Aug 2009: 202-207. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=670458239616707;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 1036-1073. [cited 04 May 16].

Personal Author: Dussart, Francoise; Source: Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals, Vol. 20, No. 3, Aug 2009: 202-207 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1036-1073 Subject: Health promotion; Health risk assessment; Aboriginal Australians--Health and hygiene; Diabetes--Diet therapy; Health promotion--Research; Health facilities--Standards; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, 354 Mansfield Road, Beach Hall, U-2176, Storrs, CT 06269-2176, United States, email: francoise.dussart@uconn.edu, fax: + 1-860-486 1719

Database: Health Collection