Conceptualizing Cultural Weaving to Decrease Health Disparities: What are Culture Characteristics of a Community Organization?
Dowell, Jo A.
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016 and Sunday, July 24, 2016: Cultural weaving is a phenomenon that has drawn researchers to explore the significance of beliefs and values on eliminating health disparities among diverse populations. Cultural weaving involves parents having access to values and beliefs that are passed from one generation to another. This also includes the extended family members' availability to share those strong values and beliefs that serve as a foundation for management of their children's needs. Cultural weaving also has been defined as the integration of culturally competent organizations which provides pathways toward assessable health care. Intergenerational programs have demonstrated to be an advantage for young children as a few researchers found in the public school systems in 1988. Others researchers identify cultural weaving as creating a path for resources. Several researchers have successful provided information on the success of a social network improves the health outcomes associated with cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases. While there is developing interest in health disparities, as a whole, there has been very little examining health disparities and children with chronic illness, such as asthma. For low-income minority caregivers of children with asthma, culture often is the perception of their environment and safety for their children. Purpose: To explore caregivers of asthmatic children's understandings of culture(s) at various levels (individual, community, and institutional). The goal was to use a community lens to explore how health disparities exacerbated by the lack of training for cultural differences in providing services to minority children with a chronic illness. Methods: The design was an ethnography study to explore the elements of cultural values and beliefs within the constraints of a community organization and its individuals that provide services to children with chronic illnesses. Sample: The participants (N=20) were recruited from The Child Development Center, in Ohio. Participants were from different management levels within the organization. Each participant was assigned a number in which half were randomly placed into two separate focus groups. Procedure: Two focus groups met 60-90 minutes each one time per week for 4 weeks, to equal a total of 8 recorded focus group meetings. A scripted guide was used to generate a discussion on cultural characteristics of the organization and individuals within the organization. Data Analysis: Several steps were taken to capture the richness of the data. Audio recorded tapes were transcribed per verbatim entered into electronic text and analyzed using content analysis techniques with the aid of a text-based analysis computer software program, ATLAS.TI version 7.5.3. Statistical Package for IBM Social Science-Predicted Analytics Software (IBM SPSS-PASW- version 21) for analyzing the baseline surveys was used. All data collected was evaluated for common beliefs and values that are identified as characteristics applied during the delivery of services. Results: All data collected was evaluated for common beliefs and values that are identified as characteristics applied during the delivery of services. The findings from this study provided information on the cultural adaptation and needs for cultural competency training. Conclusion: Future research needs to focus cultural competency measures that correlate with these providers who deliver services to chronically ill children.