Screening Native American children for asthma: findings from focus group discussions.
CONTEXT: Because of the past history among the Indian people related to research, it is incumbent upon those of us who wish to conduct research with these groups to protect them from exploitation, to conduct research that will be beneficial to the tribal community, and to work together to make the research as meaningful and as successful as possible. The process of conducting research among Native American tribes can appear to the novice as very time-consuming and full of barriers. These are necessary guards to protect their people. Additionally, many people of these tribes want to make sure that the research is going to benefit them. Focus groups provide a way for researchers to identify what the wishes of the tribal communities are in relation to the proposed research. PURPOSE: The overall purpose of this study was to understand some of the concerns the tribal communities had regarding asthma among their children, as well as their perceptions of how best to implement an asthma screening program in their community. METHODS: This was a qualitative study. An interpretative approach was selected for this research because such an approach emphasizes how a phenomenon is perceived and how meaning is constructed in situations. FINDINGS: Findings from the focus group are discussed according to themes that surfaced during the focus group discussion. CONCLUSIONS: Tribal community leaders and parents are interested in their children's health and do want to be involved in research to help children and others in their communities. Nurses working in tribal communities need to gain an understanding of the tribal communities' perspective prior to conducting research.