Using narrative inquiry to elicit diabetes self-care experience in an Aboriginal population

Can J Nurs Res. 2008 Sep;40(3):16-36.


A narrative inquiry approach was used to explore the experience of Aboriginal people living with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a rural community. Narrative inquiry based on hermeneutic phenomenological philosophy was the methodology used to guide the research. A purposive sample of 4 persons of Nuxalk ancestry living in Bella Coola, Canada, were selected for their ability to present rich life narratives and to reveal meaning in their particular diabetes stories. Three key insights or overarching analytical interpretations emerged and could contribute broadly to Aboriginal health research. The focus of the article is the expansion of our understanding of diabetes within a specific cultural context. The discussion connects various philosophical, epistemological, and methodological orientations to research with Aboriginal people living with diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / prevention & control
  • Empathy
  • Existentialism / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Narration*
  • Nursing Methodology Research / organization & administration*
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Design
  • Researcher-Subject Relations / psychology
  • Self Care* / methods
  • Self Care* / psychology
  • Self Concept