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Talking about TB: multicultural diversity and tuberculosis services in Waikato, New Zealand

van der Oest, Clif, Chenhall, Richard, Hood, Dell and Kelly, Paul M. (2005). Talking about TB: multicultural diversity and tuberculosis services in Waikato, New Zealand. The New Zealand Medical Journal,118(1216):1-12.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Talking about TB: multicultural diversity and tuberculosis services in Waikato, New Zealand
Author van der Oest, Clif
Chenhall, Richard
Hood, Dell
Kelly, Paul M.
Journal Name The New Zealand Medical Journal
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 118
Issue Number 1216
ISSN 0028-8446   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 1
End Page 12
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication New Zealand
Publisher New Zealand Medical Association
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Aim To explore the diversity of opinion amongst different refugee and minority group representatives about tuberculosis, and to examine the provision of services and their effectiveness in the Waikato Health District, New Zealand.

Open-ended qualitative interviews with the representatives of seven minority populations were undertaken. The interviews focused on the cultural differences in the approach of minority populations to health issues and on the accessibility of health services to these population groups. Participants expressed their opinions about how health services, and more specifically about how tuberculosis (TB) health services could be improved.

Important cultural differences between the minority populations were elucidated by community representatives that may determine the interpretation of symptoms and timing of presentation at medical services, the appropriate cultural processes to be followed in the consultation, and adherence to prescribed treatment.

The absence of health services oriented towards specific minority and refugee groups, and communication difficulties with healthcare providers, are important cultural barriers to TB control in Waikato. Recognition of the diversity of these populations, and the cultural and structural barriers that they face in accessing health services in Waikato and other similar health districts in New Zealand, is needed. The development of strategies is required to reduce barriers to TB treatment so that patients from diverse cultural backgrounds can be diagnosed early and effectively treated.
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