Being Healthy: a Grounded Theory Study of Help Seeking Behaviour among Chinese Elders living in the UK

Liu, Zhenmi, Beaver, Kinta orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6552-2323 and Speed, Shaun (2014) Being Healthy: a Grounded Theory Study of Help Seeking Behaviour among Chinese Elders living in the UK. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 9 .

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The health of older people is a priority in many countries as the world’s population ages. Attitudes towards help seeking behaviours in older people remain a largely unexplored field of research. This is particularly true for older minority groups where the place that they have migrated to presents both cultural and structural challenges. The UK, like other countries,has an increasingly aging Chinese population about who relatively little is known. This study used a qualitative grounded
theory design following the approach of Glaser (1978). Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 33 Chinese elders who were aged between 60 and 84, using purposive and theoretical sampling approaches. Data were analysed using the constant comparative method until data saturation occurred and a substantive theory was generated. ‘Being healthy’ (the core category) with four interrelated categories: self-management, normalizing/minimizing, access to health services, and being cured form the theory. The theory was generated around the core explanations provided by
participants and Chinese elders’ concerns about health issues they face in their daily life. We also present data about how they direct their health-related activities towards meeting their physical and psychological goals of being healthy. Their differential understanding of diseases and a lack of information about health services were potent predictors of non�help seeking and ‘self’ rather than medical management of their illnesses. This study highlights the need for intervention and health support for Chinese elders.

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