The need for this project arises from a previous study conducted by MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB), which identified the following questions as essential:

1.              What are the experiences of long-term conditions for tangata Māori?

2.              What are the main support systems utilised by tangata Māori in the 'self-management' of their long-term conditions?

3.              How can health and mental health services better address the holistic needs of tangata Māori with long-term conditions?

Long-term conditions (LTCs) have been identified as the global health epidemic. Defined as any on-going or recurring health concern extending beyond six months, LTCs significantly impact an individual's life. An estimated two-third of adults in Aotearoa New Zealand have been diagnosed with a LTC, and at least 88% of preventable deaths in this country are attributed to such conditions.

Māori have disproportionately higher prevalence rates of LTCs compared to non-Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand. Consequently, health and mental health services in Aotearoa New Zealand are under increasing demand to provide culturally appropriate services to tangata Māori with LTCs, based on informed, best-practice principles.

Utilising an interface approach that draws on the knowledge systems inherent to both mātauranga Māori and Western health psychology, the project will examine the experiences, supports, and needs of tangata Māori with LTCs residing in the MDHB region.

Semi-structured interviews embedded within a Kaupapa Māori framework will be conducted with 42 tangata Māori with LTCs. Narrative analysis will be used to examine the experiences of living with a LTC in 10 tangata Māori, while thematic analysis will be used to examine the reported supports and needs of 32 tangata Māori with a LTC.

Findings will inform the development of culturally responsive recommendations, which challenge health and mental health services to transform current practices, so that they better meet the needs of their tangata Māori with LTCs by enhancing and maintaining mauri ora.

Project commenced:

Research Lead(s) and Team

Te Ātiawa
Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology

Natasha Tassell-Matamua is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at Massey University, where she teaches in the area of cultural psychology. Her research platform encompasses two primary threads: Indigenous Psychology with a focus on mātauranga Māori as it relates to: ethics, spirituality, well-being, and the environment - and also Exceptional Human Experiences with a particualr focus on near-death experiences [NDEs].