This qualitative study examined the congruence between health beliefs and behavior as reported by 30 Cambodian (Khmer) refugee women in Southern California. Utilizing in-home interviewing in the Khmer language, data was gathered on 226 illness episodes occurring among 157 family members over an eight-month span. Informants reported a strong maternal role in health care decision making with all ages of children. Adult decision making demonstrated an individualistic pattern. Causes of illness were attributed primarily to humeral imbalances and illness avoidance behavior reflected these beliefs. Treatment was a blend of scientific and traditional medicine. Health care was accessed in settings of linguistic and cultural comfort regardless of distance. Disease prevention was linked to adequate food quantity. Chronic degenerative disease, stress, and reproductive complications were reported frequently. The adolescents and women appeared to be at high risk for cultural stress.
School of Public Health
Jerry W. Lee
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Refugees; Delivery of Health Care; Medicine, Oriental Traditional
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Frye, Barbara, "Process of Health Care Decision Making Among Khmer Immigrants" (1989). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 750.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives
Alternative and Complementary Medicine Commons, Public Health Education and Promotion Commons