Womanism, Spirituality, and Self-Health Management Behaviors of African American Older Women
Many older African American women perceive spirituality as an important resource in facilitating the self-management process of their chronic disease conditions. Research designs, which are congruent with theoretical frameworks of African American women, are important. However, many researchers remain unfamiliar with womanist thought or are unsure of how that framework can be used to understand specific aspects of self-management practices. The purpose of this exploratory study is to explicate a womanist epistemological framework that can support the development of self-management intervention designs aimed at assisting older African American women in health-promoting behaviors. Data from a sample of twenty-one African American women were collected from semistructured interviews and analyzed for common themes through narrative analysis. Four themes emerged from the linkage of womanism, spirituality, and self-management. Spiritual- and womanist-based strategies may provide a foundation for innovative self-management programs that target this older African American female population. Healthcare workers and public health professionals can assist in the co-creation of programs that focus on the collective personal responsibility of health promotion practices.