"Yarning" as a method for community-based health research with Indigenous women: the Indigenous Women's Wellness Research Program

Health Care Women Int. 2014;35(10):1216-26. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2013.815754. Epub 2013 Aug 27.


This project explores yarning as a methodology for understanding health and wellness from an indigenous woman's perspective. Previous research exploring indigenous Australian women's perspectives have used traditional Western methodologies and have often been felt by the women themselves to be inappropriate and ineffective in gathering information and promoting discussion. This research arose from the indigenous women themselves, and resulted in the exploration of using yarning as a methodology. Yarning is a conversational process that involves the sharing of stories and the development of knowledge. It prioritizes indigenous ways of communicating, in that it is culturally prescribed, cooperative, and respectful. The authors identify different types of yarning that are relevant throughout their research, and explain two types of yarning-family yarning and cross-cultural yarning-which have not been previously identified in research literature. This project found that yarning as a research method is appropriate for community-based health research with indigenous Australian women. This may be an important finding for health professionals and researchers to consider when working and researching with indigenous women from other countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Culture
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Services, Indigenous
  • Humans
  • Narration*
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • Women's Health / ethnology*