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The Value of Connections for Aboriginal Peoples Navigating the Tuberculosis Experience Open Access


Other title
urban Aboriginal
health care access
Aboriginal health
social support
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Robinson, Tristan G
Supervisor and department
Mayan, Maria (Faculty of Extension)
Gokiert, Rebecca (Faculty of Extension)
Examining committee member and department
McHugh, Tara (Physical Education and Recreation)
Willamson, Deanna (Human Ecology)
Department of Human Ecology
Family Ecology and Practice
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Throughout the twentieth century, tuberculosis (TB) was and continues to be a pressing health problem facing Canadians. Aboriginal peoples living in Canada carry a large burden of the disease with those living in the Prairie Provinces facing TB rates consistently higher than the national average. Tuberculosis affects Aboriginal peoples and their communities differently, while some reserves have been left relatively untouched, others face TB rates which are exceptionally higher than the national average. Currently, researchers have been trying to understand why TB continues to impact Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The research has largely been conducted on the historical trauma that Aboriginal peoples faced when being treated for TB, as well as on the socioeconomic disparities that increase the spread of the disease. The central purpose of this study was to understand the TB experience for Aboriginal peoples living in different community settings across the Prairie Provinces, from experiencing symptoms, to seeking a diagnosis, to being treated. This study used secondary qualitative data from a larger research project. Interviews from 48 Aboriginal participants who lived in urban centres and on non-remote, remote, and isolated reserves in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba were used to answer the research question. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Four prominent themes emerged which impacted the TB experience including the role of the individual, the impact of social connections, the impact of community, and the impact of isolation policies. Within each theme there were many sub-themes that highlighted important similarities and differences that Aboriginal peoples from various community settings experience when living and being diagnosed with TB. The findings highlight the value of connections in the lives of Aboriginal peoples experiencing TB. Not all individuals are equally connected to a source of support that could improve their overall TB experience therefore, there is a need to improve current TB policy and practice for Aboriginal peoples living both in urban centres and on-reserve.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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