The growing incidence of chronic diseases and an ageing population, worldwide as well as in Green ... Read more
The growing incidence of chronic diseases and an ageing population, worldwide as well as in Greenland, call for an intensified focus on health promotion and rehabilitation. However, research shows that the existing disease-oriented healthcare system is not geared to manage the psychosocial problems of chronically ill or disabled citizens. The problem is related to the prevailing biomedical institutional structures where expert- and professional knowledge trumps the knowledge and perspectives of the users of the institutions. Speaking about health in the broad sense of WHO, there is a need for an intensified focus on wellbeing, not only physical health. The chapter presents the visions for an ongoing research project in Sermersooq Municipality.
The research aims at developing knowledge about the citizens’ everyday lives with illness or disabilities, their cultural values and perspectives. Involving this kind of knowledge in professional practice requires the professionals’ reflection on means and ends in a welfare institution like home care. Welfare-professional contributions are meant to support citizen participation in social living. Therefore, professionals must learn about citizens’ social and cultural conditions for managing their lives.
Furthermore, the project aims at revealing and describing the conditions for professional practice as a contribution to the professionals’ abilities to analyze their practice.
The material is developed through participant observations in the municipality and the citizens’ homes, and qualitative interviews with citizens, care personnel, therapists, and leaders on different levels.
The expected outcome is a set of tools for professional practice reflection following the principles described above.
Background: During past decades the formerly active lifestyle in Greenland has become sedentary, ... Read more
Background: During past decades the formerly active lifestyle in Greenland has become sedentary, and the intake of traditional food has gradually been replaced with imported food. These lifestyle and dietary habits may affect pregnant women. Aim: To describe age and regional differences in reproductive factors, lifestyle and diet among Greenlandic pregnant women in their first trimester. Methods: A cross-sectional study during 2013–2015 including 373 pregnant women was conducted in five Greenlandic regions (West, Disko Bay, South, North and East). Interview-based questionnaires on reproductive factors, lifestyle and dietary habits were compared in relation to two age groups (median age ≤28 years and >28 years). Results: In total, 72.4% were Inuit, 46.6% had BMI >25.0 kg/m2, 29.0% were smoking during pregnancy and 54.6% had used hashish. BMI, educational level, personal income, previous pregnancies and planned breastfeeding period were significantly higher in the age group >28 years of age compared to the age group ≤28 years of age. In region Disko Bay, 90.9% were Inuit, in region South more had a university degree (37.9%) and region East had the highest number of previous pregnancies, the highest number of smokers during pregnancy and the most frequent intake of sauce with hot meals and fast-food. Conclusions: Overall a high BMI and a high smoking frequency were found. Age differences were found for BMI and planned breastfeeding period, while regional differences were found for smoking and intake of sauce with hot meals and fast-food. Future recommendations aimed at pregnant women in Greenland should focus on these health issues.
This study explores social workers’ experiences in a social service department in Greenland. The ... Read more
This study explores social workers’ experiences in a social service department in Greenland. The social workers described limiting factors, such as an absence of management and a dysfunctional interdisciplinary network. They described feelings of frustration and individualization, which are known stressors. We found that the social workers were in a disempowered position that hindered their management of key welfare services. Serious problems were found that could have consequences for professional social work with clients. By drawing upon the traditions behind critical social work in our discussion of the findings, we have furthered our understanding of the workers’ conditions. We point to issues at local, interdisciplinary, and societal levels. One solution will be to work collaboratively with social workers by using empowerment strategies to strengthen a critical consciousness within the profession. The development of a critical capacity is essential if social workers are to organize anti-oppressive practices and interdisciplinary co-operation, and to engage proactively in the future development of the Greenlandic welfare system. This can be accomplished by working with educated social workers in a union and by introducing more critical understandings at the student level.
The social worker profession in Greenland has to some extent been overlooked in Greenlandic socia ... Read more
The social worker profession in Greenland has to some extent been overlooked in Greenlandic social research the last 50 years. Perhaps it is because the professionals have not had a voice in the social political debate, or it may be due to the fact that the majority of social research conducted in Greenland has a traditional approach to research as an objectifying activity. To counter-act these hypotheses, this research project is inspired by the work of Paulo Freire, modern Marxism, and critical theory. An analysis of how current working conditions and structures disempower the possibility of doing what social workers in Greenland view as good social work is followed by a discussion of how we have designed this study as a participatory action research project. Participation is about inviting social workers to collaborate with us during the project - a process we believe will result in democratic sustainable research. Moving from problem identification via participatory collaboration and on to problem solving through the transformative methodologies of focus groups and workshops, the empirical findings will guide the next steps of the research process towards creating a better understanding of social workers’ working conditions.
The theoretical concept of 'everyday life' is ambiguous. Different theoretic approaches offer dif ... Read more
The theoretical concept of 'everyday life' is ambiguous. Different theoretic approaches offer different epistemological comprehensions of the concept. These have implications for research in everyday life. For the purpose of clarifying the analytical perspective in a Ph.D.-project carried out in and around a hospital ward in Dr. Ingrids Hospital in Nuuk, the concept of everyday life is discussed from two different angles: a sociological-phaenomenological approach and an approach to everyday life based on a critical psychological theory of practice. Questions of subjectivity, practice and social change are put on the agenda in order to discuss how change can be brought about through humanistic health research.