Indigenizing Quality of Life: The Goodness of Life for Every Alaska Native Research Study

Appl Res Qual Life. 2021 Jun;16(3):1123-1143. doi: 10.1007/s11482-019-09782-5. Epub 2020 Jan 2.


The perspectives of Alaska Native (AN) peoples are rarely represented in quality of life (QOL) research. AN representation and voice is imperative to mitigating health disparities and in health promotion for AN peoples. To address these gaps, a sample of 15 AN people (six male, nine female) was recruited to participate in stakeholder QOL research. Five focus groups participated in activities that led participants to identify 28 themes; qualitative data analyses led researchers to identify seven additional themes. All 35 themes were integrated and reduced to the following nine culturally-grounded QOL themes: family, subsistence, access to resources, health and happiness, traditional knowledge and values, acts of self, providing, sobriety, and healing. These themes reflect the values of the participants and are exemplars of a culturally relevant, community based participatory research approach. Future research and health service implications - such as future development of a measure of AN QOL to improve wellness in healthcare settings and beyond - are discussed.

Keywords: Alaska Native; Community Based Participatory Research; Quality of Life; Wellbeing; Wellness.