Health and healing: traditional medicine and the Karen experience Journal Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To examine the beliefs, attitudes and health-seeking behavior surrounding the use of traditional medicine among the Karen (refugees from Burma). METHODS: Three focus groups and two key-informant interviews were conducted with the Karen along with observations by researchers. RESULTS: The Karen continue to use elements of their traditional healthcare system after resettling in the U.S. Accessibility and perceived efficacy of treatments influence their health-seeking behavior. The participants discussed beliefs about health and healing, spirituality, and their experience as refugees. Implications for improving the quality of healthcare for the Karen and recommendations for further research are discussed.

publication date

  • 2012