17 Sep 2013

Cultural approach helps with study

7:08 am on 17 September 2013

Researchers studying health inequalities for young Maori women and their babies are highlighting the need for a cultural approach when dealing with Maori.

The Wellington-based scholars adopted what they call a kaupapa Maori paradigm to survey the mothers, and studied its effectiveness.

Study author Otago University associate professor Beverly Lawton says the group approached whanau, Maori providers and kaumatua to look at the surroundings of a person and put them at the centre of the study.

She says it found that face-to-face consultation, lasting relationships and community involvement helped the young Maori mothers open up.

Standard research questions often don't get the whole answer from Maori because the trust is not there, she says.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, AlterNative.