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Posts tagged ‘Doris M. Boutain’

Transforming Health Interviews

The first featured article in ANS Volume 41:4 discusses ways to move interviews to approaches that more clearly reflect the context and experience of health challenges.  The article is titled “Creating Emancipatory Dialogues About Identity and Health by Modernizing Interviews,” authored by Doris M. Boutain, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC; Robin Evans-Agnew, PhD, RN; Fuqin Liu, PhD, RN; and Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg, PhD, RN. The article will be available to download at no cost while it is featured, and we invite you to read it and join a discussion in this blog!  The authors sent this message about this work for ANS blog readers:

Imagine the following scenario: it is the afternoon of a school day and a health

Doris M. Boutain

researcher, the recruited youth, and parents meet for the first time. The place is a quiet corner of a public café selected by the parents who will give their consent for research participation. The researcher explains the study using consent forms previously distributed to the family to read. The parents ask a few questions and then sign the consent form. The youth also signs the assent form. Then the researcher conducts a short interview asking the youth some pre-selected, close-ended questions about demographics and establishes a follow-up meeting time. What is the value of the information collected in this encounter, and who owns this value? How does this

Robin Evans-Agnew

encounter set up the power-relations for the development of knowledge for the remainder of the research study? What did the researcher miss that might have been important concerning the identity and health of the youth.

We developed this article to share another way to design an interview. Dr. Boutain was first introduced to the need to transform the interview in her dissertation research on hypertension management with African Americans in rural South Louisiana in 1999. In her dissertation, she describes a story of how she developed her interview questions using the advice from two neighborhood groups who both instructed her to modify the interview question “How much money do you earn in a year?”, by phrasing it differently and having a different target

Fuqin Liu

of inquiry. Namely, they suggested the two questions, “Are you doing okay making your ends meet?” together with “How does making ends meet affect your blood pressure?” The neighborhood groups’ suggestions led Dr. Boutain to consider a genesis of power in the interviewer-interviewee relationship. Namely, two questions became apropos: Who decides which questions to ask in the interview?, and Which interview questions are most meaningful for research participants?. The neighborhood groups taught Dr. Boutain to ask about the relationship between identity and health, and to care about the research participants’ way of relating their identity to their health in the process of the interview. The neighborhood groups provided a public service to Dr. Boutain and created the emergence of the Identity-Research-and Health

Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg

Dialogic-Open-ended interview (I-REH-DO).

As former graduate students and current colleagues working with Dr. Boutain we identified ourselves in a participatory scholarship group called “Scholars Ready”. Drs. Evans-Agnew, Liu, and Rosemberg, applied the I-ReH-DO interview in their own research beginning in 2010. Our article is an opportunity to provide new insights into the application of the I-ReH-DO interview across diverse, and critically situated, research interests. Our work involves community-based inquiry and health interview environments similar to the scenario above. Dr. Rosemberg’s interests lie in transnationalism and immigrant worker health, including people working in hotels and nail salons. Dr. Liu conducts inquiry about global maternal child health, especially in preconception and interconception care policy in China. Dr. Evans-Agnew focuses on childhood asthma inequities, citizen science, and environmental justice with Latina and African American groups. Dr. Boutain, as the John and Marguerite Walker Corbally Professor in Public Service at the University of Washington, has deepened her interests in systems research to promote knowledge about how to sustain health equity policies and practices with community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and public health programs and services.

As scholars ready to advance emancipatory research methodologies, we are excited to publish the use of the I-ReH-DO interview. We regard the I-ReH-DO interview as an important visioning tool for new and experienced researchers to elicit novel ways of knowing about identity and health. The I-ReH-DO interview will facilitate research encounters which advance the power of participants to define their identity and health in a way that is significant and relevant for them. Thus, we as researchers will support the emergence of emancipatory research generation. We envision that the use of the I-ReH-DO will: (1) facilitate knowledge generation from participants who define themselves for themselves; (2) extend the close-ended facet of demographic surveys to result in rich contextual data; (3) inform sustainable programs/interventions that are applicable to individuals’ identity; and (4) foster changes in structural/systemic forces that participants identify as drivers of their health.

Doris M. Boutain
Robin Evans-Agnew
Fuqin Liu
Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg


Transnational Perspectives to Improve Immigrant Health

We are delighted to feature a very timely article that focuses on nursing perspectives in promoting the health of immigrant populations through nursing research. It is available for download at no cost while it is featured!   The article is titled “Transnationalism: A Framework for Advancing Nursing Research with Contemporary Immigrants,”  authored by Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg, PhD, RN; Doris M. Boutain, PhD, RN; and Selina A. Mohammed, PhD, MPH, RN.  Here is a message from Dr. Rosemberg about her work:

In this article we initiate an in-depth conversation about Transnationalism and how this framework can benefit nursing science in exploring and understanding immigrant health. This framework provides an innovative approach for nursing research, encompassing all aspects of the research process: research design, method, ANS_Blog___ANS1048R1_doc__Compatibility_Mode_analysis, and dissemination strategies. Nursing research about immigrant health continues to be dominated by concepts such as assimilation and acculturation despite a shift in how approaches to everyday life communications have changed with the advent of social media and smart-phones. Given rapid technological advancements and globalization, nursing research among contemporary immigrants needs to reflect the current trends of trans-border communication and resource sharing and how these trends affect health outcomes among contemporary immigrants.

As stated in the article “Nurse researchers can use transnationalism as an approach to explore and interpret the complex health and social experiences of contemporary immigrant among study participants. Such level of exploration will reflect health equity research design and will promote change at the core of health disparities specific to contemporary immigrant populations. As we continue this conversation the goal is to move beyond the application of transnationalism in nursing research and explore how it translates to nursing praxis in promoting immigrant health.

I became interested in this framework while investigating how Haitian immigrants defined and managed their hypertension. While searching, reading and writing about the historical and political aspects of this immigrant group, I started to see something that was very interesting and that I had not seen in other nursing research projects about immigrants. I realized that in order to fully have a holistic view of this particular population and their health I needed to consider their country of birth in addition to their current place of residence (US). I found that Transnationalism was the ideal framework to explicate this phenomenon.

Co-authors Dr. Boutain and Dr. Mohammed were instrumental in helping me hone in on this phenomenon throughout the research process. During my interviews with participants, I found they had indeed created transnational identities. Participants reported using resources from their home country (country of birth) and host country (country of residence) to manage their disease. Their transnational identity influenced every aspects of their lives not only from a health promotion and disease management (e.g. receiving cultural medicines from home country) standpoint but also from economic (e.g. using their meager wage in the host country to send remittance to their home country) and political (e.g. supporting a presidential candidate in home country) standpoints. Participants were neither interested in assimilating, nor acculturating into the “melting pot” of contemporary US culture. They took pride in who they were, their culture and their heritage and had no intentions of forgoing their culture while making a life here in the US. Instead, they found a way to live within the geographic borders of the two countries.

I found that the delineation of the concepts of assimilation and acculturation may not ring true for all immigrant groups; especially for contemporary immigrants who maintain strong ties with their home country. Persisting in using the terms assimilation or acculturation among contemporary immigrants may prevent nursing researchers from fully grasping the immigrants’ experiences that increasingly transcend geographical and political borders and thus may result in inaccurate or incomplete data. Transnationalism shows promise for advancing nursing science as it allows for holistic approach in nursing research and praxis among contemporary immigrants.

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