Understanding I-Kiribati wellbeing and its implications for health and social services
Keywords:I-Kiribati, health and wellbeing, family and home, culture, community, culturally appropriate services
INTRODUCTION: Pacific people in Aotearoa New Zealand are a fast-growing population, and research shows that they do not experience the same health benefits others do. While effort has been made to better understand the needs of this population, the results remain largely unchanged. Additionally, practice methods and research to better understand the needs of this group tend to accommodate the more dominant Pacific populations, while less research has gone into understanding the smaller Pacific ethnic populations such as I-Kiribati. This research sought to explore I-Kiribati meanings of wellbeing and how these understandings contribute to creating more culturally appropriate social services.
METHODS: The research employed semi-structured interviews to explore the perspectives and experiences of five I-Kiribati professionals working in health and social services. Recruitment was through purposive sampling.
FINDINGS: The findings outline important aspects that contribute to the wellbeing of both Kiribati and other Pacific groups, factors preventing Pacific minority groups from accessing social services, such as language barriers, acculturation issues, and lack of cultural knowledge and understanding within health, and social services. The findings also suggested the importance of utilising cultural knowledge to inform social work practice, as well as the need for service providers to expand their understanding of the Kiribati culture through more collaboration with Kiribati communities throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
CONCLUSION: The findings aid further understanding of wellbeing, knowledge on the Kiribati culture and needs of this group, while also informing practice methods for enhanced engagement to best meet the needs of ethnic minority groups.
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