Culturally Interpreting Environment as Determinant and Experience of Health

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Bent, KN
Bent, KN (2003) Culturally Interpreting Environment as Determinant and Experience of Health. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 14 (4). pp. 305-312.
In minority communities, experiences of the environment and health disparities are frequently related. An important component of nursing practice in communities is to address these issues in cultural context to improve overall community health experiences. This present ethnographic study was conducted in an urban barrio community in which residents have responded to health threats posed by local environmental hazards with sustained community-focused health and development strategies. Data generation occurred during field visits in the community and included interviews, participant observation, field notes, participant-drawn maps, examination of artifacts and existing documents, and photography. Two dimensions define the community experience of the environment in this community:contamination and unhealthy community. The environment is a complex and multidimensional concept of central importance to community experiences. Environmental health cannot be addressed without first understanding that experience in cultural context.