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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona Examines Resilience in American Indian and Alaska Native Public Health

Researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health conducted a systematic literature review to assess the conceptualization, application, and measurement of resilience in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) health promotion. The review is published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

[Photo: Dr. Nicolette Teufel-Shone]

The investigators searched 9 literature databases to document how resilience is discussed, fostered, and evaluated in studies of AIAN health promotion in the United States.

The article had to be in English; peer reviewed, published from Jan 1, 1980, to July 31, 2015; identify the target population as predominantly AIANs in the United States; describe a nonclinical intervention or original research that identified resilience as an outcome or resource; and discuss resilience as related to cultural, social, and/or collective strengths.

Sixty full texts were retrieved and assessed for inclusion by 3 reviewers. Data were extracted by 2 reviewers and verified for relevance to inclusion criteria by the third reviewer.

Attributes of resilience that appeared repeatedly in the literature were identified. Findings were categorized across the lifespan (age group of participants), divided by attributes, and further defined by specific domains within each attribute.

Nine articles (8 studies) met the criteria. Currently, resilience research in AIAN populations is limited to the identification of attributes and pilot interventions focused on individual resilience. Resilience models are not used to guide health promotion programming and collective resilience is not explored.

The investigators concluded that attributes of AIAN resilience should be considered in the development of health interventions. Attention to collective resilience is recommended to leverage existing assets in AIAN communities.

Resilience in American Indian and Alaska Native Public Health

American Journal of Health Promotion. 2016

Dr. Nicolette I. Teufel-Shone, Ms. Julie A. Tippens, Ms. Hilary C. McCrary, Dr. John E. Ehiri, Dr. Priscilla R. Sanderson