Narrative of Black Older Women Communicating with Healthcare Professionals
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Utilizing Black feminist thought and women ways of knowing as a framework, this phenomenological qualitative research examined the lived experiences of seven Black older women, ages 67 to 87, communicating with healthcare professionals. The research questions that guided the study were: (1) what are the experiences of the study participants navigating interactions with healthcare professionals? (2) how does communication and transfer of information occur between Black older women and their healthcare professionals? (3) what communication strategies do Black older women prefer to use while interacting with healthcare professionals? and (4) what is the role of culture when examining rapport and communication between Black older women and healthcare professionals? Conversational interviews were the main data collection source and Colaizzi’s (1978) method served as the data analysis process for the study. Dissertation findings suggest that aging, culture gaps, establishing trust and personal connections, as well as the ability to voice their opinions, had an impact on the communication process between the participating Black older women and their healthcare professionals. Thus, this dissertation documents Black older women’s communication preferences, their perceptions, frustrations, and advice while interacting with healthcare professionals. It also discusses learning in older adulthood and the necessary condition for such learning to happen.