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Effectiveness of ūloa model

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Sione Vaka
Health issue:
Mental health (and sleep disorders)
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Pacific peoples have been found to have a higher prevalence of mental illness than the general population and current mental health services have been unable to meet these needs. Management of mental illness among Pacific people in NZ has largely focused on designing appropriate Pacific cultural tools but has largely ignored cultural understandings and interpretations of mental illness. Earlier research exploring the meanings of mental illness amongst Tongan people developed an alternative Tongan model of care based on a communal fishing technique called uloa. This model captures Tongan interpretations and constructions of mental distress and is proposed as a model for health practitioners to use. This project will now determine the acceptability of this model among health providers and service users in South Auckland and investigate its effectiveness in practice. The research will inform mental health service provision for Tongan people in order to lead to more successful treatment outcomes. This grant was awarded to Massey University but was later transfered to Auckland University of Technology.