Cultural Competency Training and Research

As part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori this year, the Medical Library is highlighting the Meihana model used in the medical curriculum and the research of  into health inequalities experienced by Māori in New Zealand by Dr Bridget Robson, Associate Dean Māori — University of Otago Wellington.

Medical Library display of the Meihana model
Medical Library display of the Meihana model

The Meihana Model

The School of Medicine uses The Meihana Model to teach cultural competancy in the medical curriculum.

The analogy of a waka hourua (double hulled canoe) travelling to hauora (wellbeing) was developed to describe the elements of the Meihana model, their interaction and to assist with visual presentation of the model.

The two hiwi (hulls), represent the patient and whānau (family) – whakapapa whānau (biological family) and kaupapa whānau (key support people). These are attached through the aku (crossbeams).

Image courtesy of Associate Dean Māori Dr Suzanne Pitama – University of Otago Canterbury
Image courtesy of Associate Dean Māori Dr Suzanne Pitama – University of Otago Canterbury

Assessing the health of a Māori patient should include assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each aku.

  • Tinana = Physical health and functioning
  • Hinengaro = Psychological and emotional wellbeing
  • Wairua = Beliefs regarding connectedness and spirituality
  • Taiao = Physical environment
  • Iwi katoa = Services and systems that provide support within the health environment

 

Dr Bridget Robson 

Dr Bridget Robson Associate Dean Māori — University of Otago Wellington
Dr Bridget Robson Associate Dean Māori — University of Otago Wellington

Dr Robson is the Associate Dean Māori at the University of Otago Wellington. Bridget’s research interests are in the areas of social and economic determinants of health, inequitable treatment in the health system, the impact of racism on health, and the development of kaupapa Māori epidemiology. Bridget has published important research in all these areas.

 

 

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