“God Didn’t Make Those Medicines”: A Case for Naturalistic Inquiry in Health Promotion Research

Abstract

Over the past several decades, health promotion research has continued to evolve as public and community health professionals report on the relevance of social and cultural determinants of health in their studies. In particular, there is a substantial body of research that demonstrates that religiousness, a pervasive socio-cultural variable in the lives of many African Americans, exerts an important influence on health beliefs and behaviors in this population. This case study describes an inductive process of knowledge building during the course of doctoral dissertation research development and concludes with recommendations for using a naturalistic inquiry for the research process. Lessons learned are provided throughout the case.

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