October 13, 2015
Language key to health approach
A leading Auckland nursing educator says the language used in healthcare needs to change if there are to be improvement in Maori health.
Auckland University school of nursing Barbara Docherty says mainstream health professionals tend not to listen to their patients, especially Maori, so don’t have the conversations needed to work out what is the most important to them.
She told Radio Waatea host Dale Husband that her Masters research found Maori put more emphasis on their mental health than whether they were physically sick.
The answer is not treating feelings of depression, anxiety and disempowerment as illnesses but working with patients to help them find solutions.
"Participation, partnership, protection. If we just kept those three principles in our mind in general practice primary healthcare, we would be doing the right thing by everybody. Not participation inviting Maori to a meeting and saying ‘We are here to help you.’ Allowing them to tell us what they want. Partnership, working together, but Maori telling us how we can assist them rather than us putting it on them. And then protection, they need protection from us," she says.
Barbara Docherty is a clinical lecturer at the University of Auckland school of nursing and also runs Training and Development Services, which teaches a behavioural change programme to health workers in primary health care and community, Maori, Pacific and youth.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA DOCHERTY CLICK ON THE LINK
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