Long-term benefits for Maori of an asthma self-management programme in a Maori community which takes a partnership approach
Ratima, MM and Fox, C and Fox, B and Te Karu, H and Gemmell, T and Slater, T and D'Souza, WJ and Peace, NE, Long-term benefits for Maori of an asthma self-management programme in a Maori community which takes a partnership approach, Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 23, (6) pp. 601-605. ISSN 1326-0200 (1999) [Refereed Article]
Background: In 1991, an intervention trial of the efficacy of an asthma self-management plan was carried out in partnership with a rural Maori community. The program relied on Maori community health workers and other health professionals working in partnership, was delivered through clinics in traditional Maori community centres and Maori processes were followed throughout. The plan was shown to be effective in reducing asthma morbidity. Objective: To assess whether the long-term benefits of the program extend beyond reduced asthma morbidity and the extent to which any additional benefits may be related to the partnership approach employed by the program. Method: Forty-seven (68%) of the original program participants were surveyed in August 1997. Participants were questioned on the program's impact in areas such as cultural development, health service access and lifestyle. Results: In addition to the improvements in asthma morbidity, the program was found to have four key benefits: cultural affirmation; improved access to other health services; a greater sense of control for participants; and positive impacts on the extended family. Conclusions: The program's benefits extended beyond reduced asthma morbidity and were not due simply to the introduction of the asthma self-management plan but also to the partnership approach employed by the program. Implications: The study provides support for providing public health services for indigenous communities that take a partnership approach, utilise community expertise and are delivered in a way that is consistent with each community's cultural processes.