, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 290-296
Date: 10 May 2013

The meaning of health among mid-Appalachian women within the context of the environment

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As a first step toward researching health related to natural gas drilling, a qualitative approach was chosen to capture valuable insights into the emic view and to identify variables which may otherwise be overlooked or not considered when planning empirical studies. This phenomenological study sought to understand the meaning of health among women living in mid-Appalachia within the context of the environment. Women were interviewed using purposive sampling until no new information was gleaned from the data. Analysis of the data revealed an overarching theme of a sense of powerlessness over changes in the environment experienced by women living closest to the industrial sites. This perceived sense of powerlessness influenced the women's experience of health and affected their immediate living space. As extraction industries such as natural gas drilling increase their operations locally, regionally, and globally, environmental scientists and health care providers need to be aware of the potential health concerns among residents living near industrial sites