Whakawhanaungatanga - Building Trust and Connections: A Qualitative Study Indigenous Māori Patients and Whānau (Extended Family Network) Hospital Experiences

Komene, Ebony
Pene, Bobbie
Gerard, Debra
Parr, Jenny
Aspinall, Cath
Wilson, Denise
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Journal Article
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AIMS: Investigated the experiences of Māori (the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, New Zealand) patients and whānau (extended family network) engaging with acute hospital inpatient services and their priorities for a Māori-centred model of relational care.

DESIGN: A qualitative Māori-centred research design using a Thought Space Wānanga (learning through in-depth group discussion, deliberation and consideration) approach.

METHODS: Two wānanga were conducted between May 2022 and June 2022, with 13 Māori patients who had been acutely hospitalized within the past 12 months and their whānau members. The first wānanga utilized storytelling and journey mapping to collect data. The second wānanga refined the initial themes. Wānanga were audio-recorded and then inductively coded and developed into themes.

RESULTS: Thirteen patients and whānau attended the first wānanga, while 10 patients and whānau participated in the second wānanga). Four themes were developed: (1) Whakawhanaungatanga (establishing connections and relationships), (2) Whakamana (uplifting the status and esteem of Māori), (3) Whakawhitiwhiti kōrero (the importance of communicating, discussing and deliberating) and (4) Kotahitanga (working together with purpose) all provide insights into the importance of effectively engaging and connecting with Māori patients and whānau when acutely hospitalized.

CONCLUSIONS: The experiences and priorities of Māori patients and whānau affirm the international literature, suggesting that Indigenous relational concepts are critical to building relationships, connections and trust. Despite existing healthcare models for working with Indigenous peoples, their poor application contributes to sub-optimal healthcare experiences at all points of their healthcare journey. A relational mode of practice focused on engagement and forming connections better meets the needs of Indigenous peoples engaging with inpatient health services.

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PROFESSION AND/OR PATIENT CARE: Despite the existence of Indigenous models of care, Indigenous peoples consistently report a lack of engagement and connection when accessing inpatient health services. Without establishing relationships, applying models of care is challenging. IMPACT (ADDRESSING): What problem did the study address? Internationally, healthcare systems are consistently ill-equipped to deliver culturally safe care for Indigenous and marginalized peoples, evident in ongoing health inequities. Like other reports of Indigenous experiences of health services, Māori express dissatisfaction with care delivery in an acute inpatient setting. This study investigated Māori patients and whānau experiences engaging with acute hospital inpatient services and their priorities for a Māori-centred model of relational care. What were the main findings? Māori patients and whānau recounted negative experiences with healthcare professionals lacking effective relationships and trust. Satisfaction occurred when engagement with health care professionals resembled Indigenous cultural rituals of encounter that considered their holistic, collective and dynamic worldviews. Previous models of relational care, while helpful, are not Indigenous and so do not address their needs, such as engagement as a mode of practice (how) to achieve this. Where and on whom will the research have an impact? This research impacts Indigenous peoples' health outcomes, particularly Māori, and nurses and clinicians working and interacting within acute inpatient and other hospital settings. Indigenous research methods support co-constructing knowledge for translation into practical outcomes through transformational practices, policies and theory development.

REPORTING METHOD: We used the Consolidated Criteria for Strengthening the Reporting of Health Research Involving Indigenous Peoples (CONSIDER) statement (see File S2-CONSIDER Checklist) and the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guidelines (see File S3-COREQ Checklist). PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: Māori patients and their whānau interviewed about their experiences were involved in data interpretation.

indigenous research , inequity , journey mapping , Māori health , Māori-centred research , modes of care , patient experience , qualitative research , storytelling , Māori health , Māori-centred research , indigenous research , inequity , journey mapping , modes of care , patient experience , qualitative research , storytelling , 4203 Health Services and Systems , 42 Health Sciences , Clinical Research , Health Services , 8 Health and social care services research , 8.1 Organisation and delivery of services , Generic health relevance , 3 Good Health and Well Being , 1110 Nursing , Nursing , 4204 Midwifery , 4205 Nursing
Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN: 0309-2402 (Print); 0309-2402 (Online), Wiley, 80(4), 1545-1558. doi: 10.1111/jan.15912
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© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.