Dissonant roles: the experience of Maori in cancer care.

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Indigenous peoples have poorer health outcomes than their non-indigenous counterparts and this applies to cancer outcomes for Maori in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Differential access to and quality of healthcare contributes to poorer survival rates for Maori. This research provides insight into some of the mechanisms that hinder and facilitate care access. Thirty four people who had undergone cancer treatment (19Maori and 15 non-Maori) were interviewed by two Maori researchers. The analysis of the interview transcripts was informed by membership categorization analysis. This form of analysis attends to the categories that are used and the activities and characteristics associated with those categories. From this analysis it is argued that the classical patient role, or sick role, inadequately captures the kind of role that some Maori take in relation to their healthcare. Maori can also have culturally specific family (whanau) influences and a greater draw towards alternative approaches to healthcare. Dissonant roles contribute to a different experience for Maori. A better understanding of the categories and roles that are relevant to those who have cancer provides opportunities to attenuate the monocultural impacts of healthcare.