The factors influencing the awareness and uptake of osteopathy by Pacific people in Auckland

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Authors
Fifita, Yvane Chan
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Degree
Master of Osteopathy
Grantor
Unitec, Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Date
2023
Supervisors
Prescott, James
Palfreyman, Sue
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
Pasifika people in New Zealand
osteopathic medicine
clients
perceptions
public engagement
Pasifika
talanoa (traditional method of face-to-face conversations)
kakala framework
indigenous methodologies
holistic
Citation
Fifita, Y.C. (2023) The factors influencing the awareness and uptake of osteopathy by Pacific people in Auckland (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy (Professional)). Unitec, Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology https://hdl.handle.net/10652/6101
Abstract
BACKGROUND Osteopathy is a popular health therapy within New Zealand that is associated with disorders and injury to the structural components of the human body. As New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland has a steadily increasing Pacific population with a range of health needs. A deeper investigation into the relationship between osteopathy and Pacific people may be useful in determining how best to provide culturally responsive and accessible osteopathic care to a potentially receptive and widespread client base. OBJECTIVES To identify the factors influencing the awareness and uptake of osteopathy by Pacific people in Auckland, New Zealand. METHODS Utilising a predominantly inductive qualitative research design, a method of data collection similar to semi-structured interviews (talanoa) were undertaken with a total of 12 Pacific people (6 of whom were previous osteopathic patients, and 6 of whom had no prior experience with an osteopathic practitioner or clinic). Talanoa interviews were analysed using a Pacific-based research framework known as Kakala. This study’s findings are a result of a thoughtful progression of data collection, sorting, and thematic analysis. FINDINGS Data analysis produced five main themes that characterised Pacific peoples’ experiences and attitudes toward osteopathy and influenced the level of awareness and the likelihood of uptaking osteopathic treatment. Under these themes, four factors were found to exclusively influence awareness along a spectrum from “no awareness” to “high awareness”: 1) education; 2) language and terminology; 3) promotion of osteopathy on social media; and 4) promotion of osteopathy in Pacific communities and spaces. Three factors were found to exclusively influence the uptake of osteopathy by Pacific people in Auckland: 1) awareness; 2) the presence of a “triggering need”; and 3) affordability of treatment. Five factors were found to influence awareness and uptake in varying degrees: 1) trust in the practitioner and clinical space; 2) health literacy; 3) decision-making; practices of Pacific people; 4) cultural competency of the practitioner; and 5) the number of Pacific osteopaths in the profession. CONCLUSION This study demonstrated that osteopathy has the potential to positively impact the health and wellbeing of Pacific people in Auckland due to its culturally relatable underlying principles, including its holistic approach to health and its acknowledgment of the role of spiritual and social factors. The factors influencing awareness and uptake of osteopathy are interconnected and nuanced, and highlight the importance of relationship-building between the osteopaths and Pacific community.
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