Exploration of the Vā between the New Zealand health system, Pasifika family and the Church: A qualitative study

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Authors
Teganahau, Taurere
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Degree
Master of Osteopathy
Grantor
Unitec, Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Date
2023
Supervisors
Anderson, Helen
Dewerse, Rosemary
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
New Zealand
Pasifika people in New Zealand
healthcare provision
religion and health
churches
vā (relational time/space)
health inequity
Pasifika
Citation
Teganahau, T. (2023). Exploration of the Vā between the New Zealand health system, Pasifika family and the Church: A qualitative study (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec, Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology https://hdl.handle.net/10652/6061
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTIONS What is the nature of the relatedness between church minister, parishioners, and the health system?  How does the concept of Vā influence that relatedness?  Shaped by the concept of Vā, how can better relatedness between church minister, parishioners, and the health system improve Pasifika communities’ health outcomes? ABSTRACT BACKGROUND Some Pasifika health outcomes in New Zealand have been lower than the general New Zealand population. Research on the health outcomes of Pasifika people in New Zealand has begun to focus on the church's role as well as the Pasifika worldview of Vā. This study explores the relationship between the church, Pasifika/their family and the health system through the Vā. DESIGN This research used a Pasifika methodology, the Tafatolu framework, which has three elements: a contemporary academic approach, a cultural approach and a self-approach. Recruitment was through the church minister, who contacted the parishioners. The methods for data collection included church principles to create and maintain connection with the church throughout. Data was collected from ten interviews with five participants interviewed twice, conducted and recorded on Zoom. The data was thematically analysed. RESULTS Four themes emerged from the interviews and the data analysis. The first theme encompasses the family and close relationship and their role in the participants' health. The second theme showed the different values of the participants when it comes to interactions with the health system. The third theme discussed the role of the church for each of the participants. The fourth theme is all the discussions and arguments on a systematic level. CONCLUSION This research explored the connection, using the Vā as a framework, between the different contexts of Pasifika parishioner/family, the church and the health system. The complexity of each of the relationships shows that having no prejudgement before creating a link with a Pasifika individual is critical. Preconceptions of the different contexts, such as familial, medical or religious, could lead to unfruitful connections. The Vā elements can form a framework to help in understanding the complexity of these connections.
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