African-American Women's Perceptions of Clinical Interventions Based on Cultural Beliefs

African-American Women's Perceptions of Clinical Interventions Based on Cultural Beliefs

Author: 
Paulette Ann Alexis
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
Health disparities present challenges for many African-American women who are faced with balancing diagnoses-related stress and cultural beliefs. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry was to examine how 15 African-American women perceive stress related to a medical diagnosis and the role cultural beliefs play when considering clinical interventions. This study involved collecting and analyzing data from interviews conducted with 15 African-American women living in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi, aged 40 to 70. Participants were asked opened-ended interview questions to which they described individual perceptions of stress related to a medical diagnosis and cultural beliefs related to clinical interventions. The general research questions was How do African-American women perceive stress related to a medical diagnosis and the role cultural beliefs play when considering clinical interventions related to a medical diagnosis? The conceptual framework included the transactional model of stress and coping and the adaptation models. A purposive sampling was used to collect information on participants’ perceptions of the phenomena under study. In depth open-ended interview questions, observations, and field notes were used to the collect data. The three themes found in the data were cultural shift, traditional healing versus cultural adaption, and lingering cultural issues. A key finding was changing perspectives. Acceptance of clinical interventions for stress related to diagnoses outweighs reluctance to change from traditional interventions due to ingrained cultural beliefs. Recommendations are for healthcare leaders to develop culturally sensitive interventions that reflect cultural traditions and beliefs to encourage clinical participation to help decrease diagnosisrelated stress.
Dedication: 
This research study is dedicated to all African-American women who have experienced stress from both acute and chronic medical illnesses. I pray this study will empower you and offer hope for a system-change. This doctoral journey was a very emotionally exhausting but one that needed to be traveled for the sake of many AfricanAmerican women who suffer in silence. I dedicate my dissertation in honor of my deceased parents Henry and Malvina Alexis for instilling in me the moral fibers and strength to overcome all obstacles through faith and perseverance. Thanks for giving me a solid foundation on which to build my hopes and dreams. I pray that when you look down from heaven, you are well pleased with your legacy. To my children Lianne, Shannon, Christopher, and Meghan for being four beacons of light that surrounded me in abstract silent, love, and support. To my grandchildren for being the light of my life and to my sister Vivian Batiste for always being there and encouraging me when I felt I did not have the strength to continue. A special thanks to all of my family and friends who listened and helped me overcome insurmountable odds, I could not have made it without your love, support, and guidance, love you all!
Acknowledgements: 
I would first like to give special thanks to God for putting the dream and desire in my heart, placing the right people in my path, and removing others to accomplish His plan for my life. I would like to express my appreciation to my dissertation Chair, Dr. Barbara Fedock for her patience and guidance throughout this long and exhausting doctoral journey, you are a shining star. To my committee members Dr. Arlene Sullivan and Dr. Darnell Anderson for their expertise and support in helping me attain my goal. A special thanks to my graduation team Nate Perrizo and Cara Ross who never allowed me to get discouraged and encouraged me to persevere, even during the roughest times.