Society for Medical Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Julie Zuniga (UT Austin School of Nursing)
Alexandra Garcia (UT Austin School of Nursing)
This paper highlights research undertaken by two nurses and an anthropologist to examine self-management of HIV and Type II diabetes. Our project involves a mixed-methods study largely shaped by anthropological engagements. We analyze quantitative data from a large national dataset and then conduct qualitative interviews with participants in Central Texas who have both HIV and Type II diabetes. We additionally employ such methods as participant-observation to gather data about participants’ lived experiences. Research has shown that patients with HIV and Type II diabetes can improve morbidity and mortality by engaging in self-management but these self-management regimens can be extensive. By employing an anthropological framework in our study, we have been able to gain a more in-depth understanding of the complexities of disease management. Furthermore, our findings highlight sociocultural factors that shape self-management and health behavior, drawing attention to gaps in current theoretical models about self-management interventions.
In this paper I, the anthropologist, will share findings from our study, specifically highlighting the ways in which anthropological methodological approaches have enabled us to understand more about racial and ethnic health disparities, housing, and trauma as they pertain to self-management of HIV and Type II Diabetes. I will additionally share how anthropological engagement allows us to think differently about health behavior change and structural determinants of health. Finally, I will outline the ways in which an anthropology and nursing collaborative has enabled a reframing of self-management within particular sociocultural contexts, and what this reframing means for interventions and the scope of solutions.