The indigenous people of Hawaii have had difficulty adapting to the Western diet and stressful lifestyle of today's mixed cultural and economic development. This has left a health toll of high rates of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular problems, asthma, and obesity. To promote a healthy lifestyle and promote the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) goal of 100% access to health care and 0% disparity (no one will be denied health care), nurse practitioner/traditional Hawaiian healing clinics have been placed in community settings, which are known to community people and comfortable to access. These clinics provide health care to uninsured and underinsured people in an atmosphere that assures respect for the culture and the health needs. This pilot study examines the perceptions of 30 residents of Hawaii and the type of provider sought. Seventy-five percent of the respondents were generally satisfied with the health care received from both Hawaiian and Western care providers. Back and neck problems and injuries were associated with the use of Hawaiian therapies and appeared to reflect chronic conditions. Western health care is sought for predominantly acute conditions (infections, allergies, and upper respiratory conditions) and for diabetes and hypertension.
Former MSN Student, Hawaii Pacific University, Kanoehe, Hawaii (Broad)
Professor of Nursing, Hawaii Pacific University, Kanoehe, Hawaii and Director, Waikiki Health Center, Hoòla Like Outreach Project, Honolulu, Hawaii (Allison)