The meaning of health: Perspectives of Anglo and Latino older women

Marianne McCarthy, Ester Ruiz, Betty J. Gale, Cheryl Karam, Nancy Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This qualitative study, utilizing the dimensional analysis approach, was conducted to generate a substantive theory about the description and meaning of functional health from the perspectives of older Anglo and Latino women. Through focus group interviews with older Anglo and Latino women and data analysis, the investigators learned that the women's perceptions of functional health were vastly different. As planners and providers, we usually are trained in a health culture that is predominantly based on White, middle-class values. This ethnocentrism can act as a barrier leading us to disregard the notion that concepts such as health are not universally perceived. Findings from this study may enable us to achieve a closer approximation of the real experiences of our clients and to sensitize us to different world views.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-969
Number of pages20
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Health Professions


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