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Image J Nurs Sch. 1998;30(2):161-5.

Diabetes research in an American Indian community.

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University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Nursing, Oklahoma City 73190, USA.



To describe field experiences of a nurse-led team conducting collaborative research on diabetes with an American Indian community. Diabetes is of epidemic proportions among Indians. Methodological reports can assist nurse researchers to make important contributions to Indian health and diabetes care.


Wax's stages of fieldwork: Initiation, fieldwork, post-field work. SCOPE AND METHOD: Report of key research experiences from all phases of a study with an Indian community (1988-1996). Based on review of classic literature, field notes, and team meetings.


Methodological literature on research with Indians and cultural tutelage by Indians were helpful but neither sufficient nor infallible. A long period of investigator presence in the community before beginning the research was extremely useful. The need for researchers to explain their presence and the contribution of research to the community was ongoing.


Wax's conception of field work as a dialectic process was supported. A collaborative, community focus and willingness to spend much time acquiring cultural knowledge can facilitate successful research on Indian health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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