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An ethnographic action research study to investigate the experiences of Bindjareb women participating in the cooking and nutrition component of an Aboriginal health promotion programme in regional Western Australia

Nilson, C., Kearing-Salmon, K-A, Morrison, P. and Fetherston, C. (2015) An ethnographic action research study to investigate the experiences of Bindjareb women participating in the cooking and nutrition component of an Aboriginal health promotion programme in regional Western Australia. Public Health Nutrition, 18 (18). pp. 3394-3405.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980015000816
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Abstract

Objective To investigate the experiences of women participating in a cooking and nutrition component of a health promotion research initiative in an Australian Aboriginal regional community.

Design Weekly facilitated cooking and nutrition classes were conducted during school terms over 12 months. An ethnographic action research study was conducted for the programme duration with data gathered by participant and direct observation, four yarning groups and six individual yarning sessions. The aim was to determine the ways the cooking and nutrition component facilitated lifestyle change, enabled engagement, encouraged community ownership and influenced community action.

Setting Regional Bindjareb community in the Nyungar nation of Western Australia.

Subjects A sample of seventeen Aboriginal women aged between 18 and 60 years from the two kinships in two towns in one shire took part in the study. The recruitment and consent process was managed by community Elders and leaders.

Results Major themes emerged highlighting the development of participants and their recognition of the need for change: the impact of history on current nutritional health of Indigenous Australians; acknowledging shame; challenges of change around nutrition and healthy eating; the undermining effect of mistrust and limited resources; the importance of community control when developing health promotion programmes; finding life purpose through learning; and the need for planning and partnerships to achieve community determination.

Conclusions Suggested principles for developing cooking and nutrition interventions are: consideration of community needs; understanding the impact of historical factors on health; understanding family and community tensions; and the engagement of long-term partnerships to develop community determination.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © 2015 The Authors
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/26465
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