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NURSB 290 Transcultural Healthcare

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Shannon Johnson
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Below you will find commonly used resources for the cultures most often researched for this course.  These will not be the only resources you will use, but they can give you a good start. If your culture is not listed below, please refer back to the Getting Started page and follow through the various resources located there. If you have difficulty please contact your librarian. 

African American






Myanmar (Burma)

Native Americans

Researching Native American tribes presents a unique set of challenges for this course. 

Some things to consider:

  • When researching in medical databases like CINAHL and Medline/PubMed, many of the articles look at Native American populations broadly rather than at a single tribe or reservation.  These articles, while broad, will usually still provide good information. Search for articles on an aspect of a particular Pernell domain using a strategy like:
    • (Native American OR American Indian) AND (childbirth or birth or labor or pregnancy)
  • Understanding the shared history and experience of American native peoples is particularly relevant when discussing issues related to pubic health and possible distrust of health care workers.  Michael Bird, former president of the American Public Health Association and member of the Santo Domingo and San Juan Pueblo tribes describes

"...a relationship and history that have witnessed a military war being waged against Indian Country; Native Americans being dispossessed of millions of acres of land; and a nearly successful effort to wipe out native people and their traditions, beliefs, and culture.   These experiences have had a profound impact. According to Mr. Bird, “when you dispossess people of their land or labor, their culture, their language, their tradition and their religion you set into force powerful forces that impact in a very negative and adverse way.”   He explained that this dispossession promotes and creates health disparities for indigenous populations." (United States Commission on Civil Rights, 2004)

  • Healthcare research into Native American and/or indigenous populations can be difficult and thus limit the type and scope of studies available.  Because of past exploitation, historical trauma, and previous poor research methodology and ethics, many indigenous groups distrust researchers.  This is compounded by most research taking place inside educational systems that have historically been used to undermine Native culture. (Burnette, Sanders, Butcher & Salois, 2011)
  • The US government recognizes over 500 American Indian and Alaska Natives tribes, but there are many more tribes that have not gained official recognition.  Some of these tribes are affiliated with larger Nations, others are not.  Knowing which Nation and/or Tribe is important even if you cannot find specific healthcare related research on that tribe.  Cultural information from anthropology and sociology resources will likely still be available, although the scope and depth of this information will vary depending on the people. 
  • In the past, many Native children were forcibly removed from their homes by healthcare, social, and education workers and either placed in boarding schools or adopted to white families.  This attempt at cultural genocide has left lasting impressions on many native people, and contributes not only to increased health disparities, (Cook & Petit de Mange, 1995) but to a lingering distrust of governmental and healthcare workers by many.  (For more information on mistrust and disastification with healtcare in Native American cultures, see Guadagonolo, Cinga, Helbig, Molloy, Reiner, Cook, & Petereit, 2009)
  • Keep in mind that while Reservations are often highlighted in research, Native Americans live everywhere in the country, both in urban and rural settings.  (Cook & Petit de Mange, 1995)

Burnette, C.E., Sanders, S., Butcher, H.K., & Salois, E.M. (2011) Illuminating the lived experiences of research with indigenous communities. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 20(4), 275-296. DOI:10.1080/15313204.2011.622199

Cook, L.S., Petit de Mange. (1995) Gaining access to Native American cultures by non-native American nursing researchers.  Nursing Forum, 30(1), 5-9.

Guadagnolo, B.A., Cina, K., Helbig, P. Mooloy, K. Reiner, M. Cook, E.F., Petereit, D. (2009). Medical Mistrust and less satisfaction with health care among Native Americans presenting for cancer treatment. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 20(1)2010-226 doi:10.1353/hpu.0.0108.

United States Commission on Civil Rights. (2004) Broken Promses: Evaluating hte Native American Health Care System.