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The Value of Connections for Aboriginal Peoples Navigating the Tuberculosis Experience

  • Author / Creator
    Robinson, Tristan G
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3QF8JS76
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Human Ecology
  • Specialization
    • Family Ecology and Practice
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Mayan, Maria (Faculty of Extension)
    • Gokiert, Rebecca (Faculty of Extension)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • McHugh, Tara (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Willamson, Deanna (Human Ecology)