Poster Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Adapting digital story telling to explore Māori whānau end of life caregiving experiences: A pilot study (#402)

Tess Moeke-Maxwell 1 , Lisa Williams 1 , Shuchi Kothari 1 , Serena Pearson 1 , Stella Black 1 , Whio Hansen 2 , Rawiri Wharemate 1
  1. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Citizens Advice Bureau, Auckland, New Zealand

The Te Ārai Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group wanted to investigate the appropriateness of the digital story telling method with bereaved Māori whānau to evaluate whether it could be used safely to gather information about end of life caregiving practices. The digital story telling method was adapted to include a pōwhiri (formal welcome) and poroporaki (formal farewell). The digital story telling pilot was undertaken in 2015. Eight story tellers created a digital story about caregiving, tangihanga (funeral customs) or bereavement. The method required bereaved whānau to attend a three-day workshop where they were required to share their story in the story telling circle before moving to the computer laboratory to record and digitally produce their story. Participants’ post-workshop evaluative comments revealed that whānau rated the digital story telling method and their participatory experience highly. They appreciated that the marae (ancestral meeting house) was selected to host the pōwhiri as it provided space for mihimihi (introductions), karakia (prayers, incantations), waiata (song) and helped to establish whanaungatanga (connections) via whakapapa (genealogical decent). This eased bereavement mamae (emotional pain). The adapted digital story telling method fostered the researchers’ manaakitanga (cultural and social responsibility) to care for participants. Kai (food) and drink were provided to sustain participants over three days. The workshop concluded with participants inviting their whānau to join them on the final evening to view their completed digital stories. Participants found the method to be culturally sensitive as it protected them and their data; they were in charge of selecting their story, photographs, memorabilia and music. Importantly, bereaved whānau story tellers felt as though the method respected the mana (status, prestige) of their deceased loved one. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to view the digital stories.