Jeiny Zapata

Jeiny Zapata

University of Rhode Island

Nursing


1997

Mentor: Dr. Raelene Shippee-Rice Associate Professor, Nursing

The Practice of Folk Medicine by Six Members of the Latino Community

This work constitutes an elaboration of the research I previously conducted. Health strategies promoting health care have received attention under the new health care reform. Healthy People 2000 (U.S. Department of Health) focuses on the importance of health choices which have a powerful impact on an individual's health. As noted on my previous work, one choice some Latino people make is to use folk or traditional medicine. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the use of folk medicine by members of the Latino community.

Once again, an ethnographic approach was the basis for this study. Snowball sampling was utilized to gather the informants. In-depth interviews were conducted with six informants to collect information about their definition of "being sick", how they use folk medicine, the relationship between folk medicine and Western medicine and their perceptions of the results. Responses were translated, transcribed, coded and analyzed for common themes. The analysis reveals that the Latinos in this study utilize folk medicine, but at the same time they do not disregard the validity of Western medicine. Some of the informants of this study believe that traditional medicine has been gaining a lot of popularity despite the advances of biochemical medicine, due to the decreased chance of secondary side effects of traditional medicine.

Benefits of this study to nursing include an expansion of knowledge regarding the use of alternative healing methods by Latino cultures. Although the results of this study cannot be generalized to all members of the Latino community, they do lend credibility to the need for health care providers to talk with Latino patients about the role of folk medicine in their self care.

 

1996

Mentor: Raelene Shippee-Rice - Associate Professor of Nursing

The Practice of Folk Medicine by Members of the Latino Community

Health strategies promoting health care have received attention under the new health care reform. Healthy People 2000 (U.S. Department of Health) focuses on the importance of health choices which have a powerful impact on an individual's health. One choice some Latino people make is to use of folk or traditional medicine. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the use folk medicine by members of the Latino community.

An ethnographic approach was the basis for this study. In-depth interviews were conducted with six informants to collect information about their definition of "being sick," ways they use folk medicine, the relationship between folk medicine and Western medicine, and their perceptions of the results. Responses were translated, transcribed, coded, and analyzed for common themes. The analysis reveals that the Latinos in this study utilize folk medicine, but at the same time they do not disregard the validity of Western medicine. Some of the informants of this study believe that traditional medicine has been gaining a lot of popularity despite the advances of biochemical medicine, due to the decrease chance of secondary side effects of traditional medicine.

Benefits of this study to nursing include an expansion of knowledge regarding the use of alternative healing methods by Latino cultures. Although the results of this study cannot be generalized to all members of the Latino community, they do lend credibility to the need for health care providers to talk with Latino patients about the role of folk medicine in their self care.

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« View 1996 McNair Scholars