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Qual Health Res. 2005 Jan;15(1):49-65.

Developing resilience: how women maintain their health in northern geographically isolated settings.

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  • 1Rural Women's Health Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to explore how women maintain their health in northern geographically isolated settings, using a feminist grounded theory method. Twenty-five women of diverse backgrounds in northern British Columbia, Canada, engaged in qualitative interviews over a 2-year period to express perspectives about how the north affects their health and how they maintain their health in northern settings. Findings reveal that the women experienced vulnerability to physical health and safety risks, psychosocial health risks, and risks of inadequate health care. The women responded to these vulnerabilities by developing resilience through the strategies of becoming hardy, making the best of the north, and supplementing the north. These strategies, which reflect both individual and collective actions, were determined by the needs and interests of the women and their social and personal resources. The findings have implications for women's health research and health practices and policies in geographically isolated settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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