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The etemic model of Gypsy Roma Traveller community vulnerability: is it time to rethink our understanding of vulnerability?

Heaslip, V., Hean, S. and Parker, J., 2016. The etemic model of Gypsy Roma Traveller community vulnerability: is it time to rethink our understanding of vulnerability? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27 (17-18), 3426-3435.

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DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13499


AIM: To present a new etemic model of vulnerability. BACKGROUND: Despite vulnerability being identified as a core consequence of health and health experiences there has been little research exploring the meaning of vulnerability as a concept. Yet being vulnerable is known to have dire physical/mental health consequences. It is therefore a fundamental issue for nurses to address. To date, the meaning of the term vulnerability has been influenced by the work of Spiers (2000, 2005). Spiers identified two aspects of vulnerability; the etic (external judgment of another persons' vulnerability and the emic (internal lived experience of vulnerability). This approach has led to a plethora of research which has explored the etic (external judgment) of vulnerability and rendered the internal lived (or emic) experience invisible. Consequences of this, for marginalised communities such as Gypsy Roma Travellers include a lack of culturally sensitive services compounding health inequalities. DESIGN: Position paper. METHOD: Drawing upon a qualitative phenomenological research study exploring the lived experience of vulnerability from a Gypsy Roma Travelling community (published previously), this paper presents a new model of vulnerability. This etemic model of vulnerability values both external and internal dimensions of vulnerability and argues for a fusion of these two opposing perspectives. CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: If nurses and other health and social care professionals wish to develop practice that is successful in engaging with Gypsy Roma Travellers then there is a need to both understand and respect their community. This can be achieved through an etemic approach to understanding their vulnerability achieved by eliciting lived experience alongside the appreciation of epidemiological studies. Doing so would enable the development and delivery of culturally sensitive services facilitating health access to this community. Only then, will their poor health status be successfully addressed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Special Issue: Cultural Issues September 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords:Gypsy; Indigenous; Irish Traveller; Marginalised; Romany; Vulnerable; healthcare; mental health; nursing; patient voice
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:24684
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:14 Sep 2016 10:27
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:58


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