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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 174

Using a Community-Based Participatory Approach to Create a Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders

1 School of Social Work, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Hawai`i, USA
2 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Hawai`i, USA

Correspondence Address:
N Mokuau
School of Social Work, University of Hawai`i, Honolulu, Hawai`i
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19967637

Context: Historically, Native Hawaiian elders have been recognized as the major sources of wisdom and transmitters of knowledge and training to younger generations. Yet, concerns exist today for these elders who experience shorter life expectancies, poorer health and greater disability than elders in other ethnic groups in Hawai`i. Objective: We describe Ha Kupuna: National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders, established at the University of Hawaii to address disparate health and improve the access and delivery of services to these elders. Method: Ha Kupuna is described in accordance with the principles of community-based participatory (CBP) research with its unique emphasis on culturally competent practice. Results: Application of the CBP approach is illustrated in the following steps: community engagement; development of an infrastructure; implementation and dissemination of research and technical assistance projects; and evaluation. Discussion: The CBP approach is highly relevant for Native Hawaiians because of its alignment with cultural values, the mobilization of the community and the emphasis on reducing health inequities through social change. In adhering to a CBP approach to improve the health of elders, Ha Kupuna seeks to perpetuate the culture through the transmission of ha (breath) from older to younger generations.

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