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Published: 5 November 2015

Authors: Jones, B., Walters, L., Maiava, V., Nathan, M.

Watch online: Stepping outside the comfort zone: new ways of engaging with Māori and delivering asthma messages.

This Māori Engagement Project used a participatory action research (PAR) methodology within a kaupapa Māori research (KMR) framework. Māori nurses from three regions − Takiri Mai Te Ata (Hutt Valley), Kotahitanga (South Auckland) and Ngā Mataapuna Oranga (Tauranga), were chosen as asthma nurse champions to drive the research and develop innovations. Three research streams were developed.

1. Generating clinically relevant resources based on culturally grounded, strengths-based approaches to best practice asthma care
The asthma nurse champion at Takari Mai Te Ata interviewed clinical staff about priority areas for key messages, developing a series of posters that highlight key asthma messages and a set of talking cards to support clinical staff engaging with whānau on asthma-related topics.

2. New ways to engage with Māori rangatahi (teenagers) with asthma
This stream focused on Māori youth and involved a series of focus groups where rangatahi talked about their media preferences, general interests, etc. Two strategies evolved for trial: an asthma poster competition, and engagement at sports events to raise asthma awareness. 
The poster competition was initially used by Kotahitanga at a South Auckland high school, where students were asked to represent key messages in innovative, fun ways that resonated with them. A student-led organising committee was integrally involved.

3. Practice quality data 
This stream reflected the need for high-quality data at the practice level to ensure adequate outcome monitoring of asthma services. The Ngā Mataapuna Oranga asthma nurse champion conducted a series of interviews with clinical and non-clinical practice staff identifying barriers to asthma best practice (eg, diagnosis, coding, follow-ups, plans, and practice data analysis) to inform the development of a set of dashboard indicators for asthma health outcomes across the primary care setting.