Perceptions of personal health of contemporary black women

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In recent years, health care literature has been replete with calls for cultural competency for health care providers and culturally appropriate strategies and interventions. Also, there has been increased interest in issues specifically related to women's health. However, much of the literature that addresses the issue of culturally appropriate care for African Americans typically presents cultural information that does not differentiate between the beliefs of women and men and often excludes those from middle and upper middle socioeconomic groups. While it is true that African American men and women share experiences from a cultural perspective, African American women (AAW) have unique experiences that shape their perspectives on personal health and what it means to be healthy (Shambley-Ebron and Boyle, 2004). Also, it has been suggested that a-womanist theoretical approach, which takes into account the unique life experiences of AAW, be used when working with this population (Banks-Wallace, 2000; Shambley-Ebron and Boyle, 2004; Barbee, 1994). In this chapter a small number of African American women were asked to describe various aspects of their beliefs about health. The descriptions suggest that more exploration of how African American women perceive health is necessary. © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Black Women'S Health: Challenges And Opportunities

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