August 2008

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


RATIONALE: Migration is often a challenging process. Native Hawaiians are migrating to Las Vegas at an impressive rate, but no research has explored how migration from Hawaii to Las Vegas impacts Native Hawaiian health and well-being. Exploring their perceptions of health and well-being is the first step toward culturally competent nursing care and improving Native Hawaiian migrants’ health and well-being. PURPOSE: The purpose was to describe how Native Hawaiians perceive their health and well-being and any changes therein since migrating from Hawaii to Las Vegas. METHOD: A qualitative descriptive design was used, and 27 participants took part in semi-structured interviews. Data analysis involved: 1) transcribing interviews, 2) reading transcripts, 3) coding related segments, and 4) identifying themes and categories. RESULTS: Most participants perceived no changes in health and minor changes in well being, but the period shortly after migration was a vulnerable time. Many maintained their well-being by adapting valued activities to their new circumstances. However, a few were deeply burdened by life in Las Vegas or longing for Hawaii, and their well-being suffered. They tended to identify barriers to well-being rather than ways to foster it. IMPLICATIONS: Increased vulnerability shortly after migration suggests a need for early access into the health care system. One way health care providers can help is by encouraging and facilitating Native Hawaiian migrants’ participation in valued activities.




School of Nursing



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