The Health Experience of Low-Income Church-Going Black Women: The Importance of Spirituality

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Ashabo, Nike Yetunde
lay perspectives of health , Black women , spirituality
Health research and services are dominated by a biomedical model which understands health as the absence of disease in the physical body. The dominance of this approach has resulted in the absence, silence and refutation of lay perspectives on health, particularly those of visible minority groups. Using qualitative interview methods, this study provides an avenue to hear the voices and stories of church-going, low-income Black women who live in Toronto, Canada. Analysis of the data shows that for this group of women, the meanings of health and the way it is experienced can be seen as an amalgamation of spiritual principles which holistically touches the various domains of their lives. The women in this study experience health as emotional, social, communal, personal, physical, material and above all in spiritual dimensions. These findings would be useful in guiding the development of meaningful and effective health care services that are sensitive to the diverse experiences of health.
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