• Being healthy: A Grounded Theory study of help seeking behaviour among Chinese elders living in the UK

      Liu, Z; Beaver, K; Speed, S; Chegdu University China; UCLAN; University of Chester
      Abstract The health of older people is a priority in many countries as the world’s population ages. Attitudes towards help seeking behaviours in older people remain a largely unexplored field of research. This is particularly true for older minority groups where the place that they have migrated to presents both cultural and structural challenges. The UK, like other countries, has an increasingly aging Chinese population about who relatively little is known. This study used a qualitative grounded theory design following the approach of Glaser (1978). Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 33 Chinese elders who were aged between 60 and 84, using purposive and theoretical sampling approaches. Data were analysed using the constant comparative method until data saturation occurred and a substantive theory was generated. ‘‘Being healthy’’ (the core category) with four interrelated categories: self-management, normalizing/minimizing, access to health services, and being cured form the theory. The theory was generated around the core explanations provided by participants and Chinese elders’ concerns about health issues they face in their daily life. We also present data about how they direct their health-related activities towards meeting their physical and psychological goals of being healthy. Their differential understanding of diseases and a lack of information about health services were potent predictors of nonhelp seeking and ‘‘self’’ rather than medical management of their illnesses. This study highlights the need for intervention and health support for Chinese elders.
    • Chinese Elders' views on their interactions in general practice: a Grounded Theory study

      Liu, Z; Beaver, K; Speed, S; Liu, Chegdu University China, Beaver, UCLAN UK, Speed University of Chester
      Objectives. The Chinese ethnic population are among the UK's largest visible minority but there is limited evidence about this population, their views about their interactions with General Practitioners (GPs) and how this impacts on their health. This study aimed to explore Chinese Elders' experiences of and attitudes towards the provision of health services in primary care. Design. The method of investigation was a Grounded Theory study using open-ended in-depth interviews. Purposive and theoretical sampling was used to recruit thirty-three Chinese Elders from Chinese communities in the North West of England. Face-to-face interviews were conducted and audio-recorded; transcripts were translated, back translated, analysed and coded by all members of the research team to identify concepts following the Grounded Theory approach. Themes were generated from the data and were used to guide the study into the theoretical sampling phase of the investigation. Results. Chinese Elders were inclined to present to GPs only when health concerns were perceived as serious. This was defined as being beyond their ability to self-manage. Elders tended to adopt self-management strategies rather than follow professional advice. This was mainly due to communication difficulties, poor understanding of the advice doctors gave, and the way that Chinese patients interpreted and used the advice they were given. Chinese Elders reported that the purpose of contacting doctors was to obtain medicines. They presumed that once medication had been prescribed their symptoms would be cured, and then they believed that they could self-manage their health, usually without further GP or other medical follow up. Conclusion. These data suggest that significant misunderstandings between Chinese Elders and GPs exist. The findings highlight the dissatisfaction expressed by Elders regarding their interactions with UK health professionals. Chinese Elders' perceptions are influenced by the way Chinese people think about health and illness, and also by their GPs' assumptions. These findings are of value to UK GPs and family doctors worldwide who are concerned with improving the quality of health services provided to an increasingly ageing migrant Chinese population.