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Health Meanings and Practices Among Midlife Professional Thai Women

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  • Midlife professional women face many challenges including changes in physical functions, chronic illness and increasing demands from both professional and family roles. Understanding women’s health meanings and health care practices within their sociocultural context is important. A qualitative research design, informed by general principles of feminist inquiry, was used to explore the experiences of professional women regarding their health meanings and health care practices. Twenty midlife professional Thai women, working as teachers and nurses in northern Thailand, were recruited purposively between May 2005 and February 2006. In-depth individual interviews were conducted and data were processed based on Morse and Richards’ analysis guide. Results included the themes: “being able to maintain normality,” as the meaning of health; and, “rearranging my way of life,” as the health care practices.“ Being able to maintain normality” was found to be the women’s ability to manage multiple roles productively and capability of having a normal state of physical functioning and emotional stability. “Rearranging my way of life” was evidenced through the women’s readjustment of their eating styles, initiation of consumption of nutrients and vitamin supplements, effort to have more exercise, precautionary accident risk activities and modification of known ways of reducing stress. Findings have significant implications for policy-makers and health care professionals to provide health promotion programs which consider the meaning of health and health care practices for women.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution 3.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Chareonsanti, J., Tiansawad, S., Chanprasit, C., Newburn-Cook, C., Kushner, K.E.. (2009). Health Meanings and Practices Among Midlife Professional Thai Women. Thai Journal of Nursing Research, 13(1), 55-67.