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Cross-cultural interaction in the appraisal of disaster trauma in three Pacific Island countries

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The methods adopted in the appraisal of the trauma of three communities after different disasters in the South Pacific are described and discussed. The outcome affirms the need for non-indigenous clinicians to be ready to adjust their concepts and methods to suit the cultural frameworks they encounter when they are invited abroad, and for local health professionals to be ready to share their knowledge and skills with their collegues from abroad. The outcome, it is argued, should improve the quality of service provided at all stages of disaster recovery, and still enable questions to be raised about matters of fundamental concern – such as the power of religious belief and of social justice in the process of healing. These questions were found to be of particular importance in the context of the South Pacific cultures.
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Keywords: South Pacific; cross-cultural trauma; disasters; justice; religion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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