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American Indian Research Center for Health: Use of alternative medical approaches for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

Maria R. Garcia, DC1, J. Kristin Olson-Garewal, MD2, Christina E. Ore Giron, MPH1, Mary C. Garcia, BA2, and Candice Donald2. (1) Alternative Medicine and Traditional Healing Programs, Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, 7490 S. Camino de Oeste, Tucson, AZ 85746, (520) 879-6131, coregiron@pascuayaquitribe.org, (2) Family Community Medicine/Native American Research and Training Center, University of Arizona, 1642 Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85719

The “use alternative medical approaches for the treatment of diabetes" study is addressing national as well as local research issues in American Indian communities. It is part of a national movement to increase tribal ownership over research while providing the methods and information to address local health concerns.

This study is part of the American Indian Research Center for Health (AIRCH), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Indian Health Service. It is a collaborative partnership between the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, University of Arizona-Native American Research Center in Health, and participating Tribes. AIRCH supports the development of tribal research infrastructure including capacity.

The purpose of this four year multiphase study is to investigate the role of alternative medical approaches, including traditional healing practices, on diabetes management, glucose control and quality of life for tribal members living with type II diabetes in this southwest tribe. This study began by testing the assumption that the community preferred alternative medicine to allopathic medicine.

This project incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Data collection instruments include a community household survey, practitioner’s interview guide, clinic chart review, and focus group guide.

Upon tribal approval of results and dissemination procedures, a description of the practice of alternative medicine, including treatment for diabetes will be shared. In addition, results will be shared from the community survey which collected information on the nature (type), reason, and frequency of the use and/or non use of alternative medicine and traditional healing.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion on the session the participant will be able to

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, American Indians

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA