Keeping up with medicine is made easier when we share clinical stories with our colleagues. On this page we share brief learnings and articles that have interested our GP liaison team during the month of April. If you come across an article, video or resource you think clinical and management teams should know about, send it to email@example.com.
I recently attended the National Rural Health Conference in Auckland and amongst the many gems I attended a session called O matou whakaaro: What wahine Māori (Māori women) think about smoking and trying to quit - presented by Lynne Russell from the Health Promotion Agency.
Lynne reported on a qualitative research study into the attitudes and beliefs of Māori women about smoking and smoking cessation.
It was brilliantly presented and had a lot more material than time to deliver it. The specific learning that might help deliver a higher proportion of Māori women stopping smoking than we currently do was......it's difficult! Which wasn't really a surprise because if it was easy, we'd be doing it.
Lynne suggests it starts with listening to the women, starting from where they are at, and she tells us it concludes with engaging with the whole whānau.
The study suggested we should reduce approaches that induce shame or fear - as a response to these emotions is defensiveness and disbelief. We also need to learn from the lack of trust that flows on from when, as a trusted health professional, we say thinks like "if you smoke your baby will be small and weak." When the hapu mama ends up having a 9.5kg monster and a 3rd degree episiotomy wound, this has an effect on her and her whānau's level of trust in the advice of health professionals for a long time afterwards.
It was interesting that being able to afford tobacco and still feed a family can be a source of pride. The idea being the harder "they" make it, the harder some Māori women try to make it happen - the belief being "a good mama can still afford the fags and still feed the mokopuna".
An oldie but a goodie, The Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone is a fascinating biography of Sigmund Freud and the evolution of psychoanalysis, with an insight into general medical practice at the time and the Viennese lifestyle in the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th century. A great holiday read!