A Summary of the Health Experiences of a Global Missionary Group: 1920's to the 1970's 公开

Saunders, Kylie McCann (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/j9602072c?locale=zh
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Abstract

Background: Few data exist describing the physical and mental health risks that long-term missionaries face while serving abroad. This study describes the health experiences of a group of missionaries serving overseas between 1928-1977. Data from the 1920's to 1970's were studied in order to provide historical context of the health experiences and conditions encountered by missionaries serving overseas.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted using secondary data from a global missionary organization. Missionaries from the 1920's to 1970's were chosen for the study due to the large collection of patient files that the organization had on record. A convenience sample of these records was taken and data were extracted from these historical medical records and then analyzed.

Results: Among the 221 missionaries examined in the study, 961 infectious disease illnesses were noted. Systemic (39%) and gastrointestinal infections (21%) were most prevalent. Records showed that 84 (38%) of the missionaries experienced mental health issues during their service abroad, including fatigue, depression, sleeplessness, nervous breakdowns, etc. Additional analysis revealed that 31 (14%) missionaries returned home on furlough for health reasons, ranging from chronic conditions to mental health problems.

Conclusion: This study shows that an array of infectious diseases and emotional strains were encountered by missionaries during their service abroad from the 1920's-1970's. Infectious disease prevention and a need to recognize and address mental health issues remain important for international missionaries. This work can help practitioners and missionary organizations re-examine their prevention materials, education efforts, and awareness related to missions and other longer-term traveler.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION…………………….…………………………….1

Introduction…………………….………………………………………………....1

Problem Statement…………………….……………………………………….....1

Purpose…………………….……………………………………………………..2

Significance…………………….………………………………………………...3

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW…………………….……………………..4

Missionary Background…………………….………………………………….....4

Short-term versus Long-term Travel…………………….………………………..6

Infectious Diseases in Missionaries…………………….………………………....6

Mental Health in Missionaries…………………….……………………………....7

Prevention Efforts for Missionaries…………………….………………………....8

Significance…………………….………………………………………………....9

CHAPTER 3: MANUSCRIPT…………………….………………………………..9

Title Page for Manuscript…………………….……………………………….....10

Abstract…………………….………………………………………………....…11

Introduction…………………….…………………………………………….….12

Methods…………………….…………………………………………………....13

Results…………………….……………………………………………………..14

Conclusion…………………….……………………………………………...…16

References…………………….…………………………………………………22

Tables…………………….…………………………………………………...…26

Table 1: Demographic data for missionaries serving abroad, 1928-1977…...26

Table 2: Number of reported illnesses by region among missionaries

serving abroad, 1928-1977 …………………………………………...…27

Table 3: Number of reported mental health issues among missionaries

serving abroad, 1928-1977………………………………………………28

Table 4: Details of missionaries returning home due to health-related

furloughs while serving abroad, 1928-1977……………………………..29

Table 5: Political issues encountered by missionaries serving abroad,

1928-1977.…………………………………………….………………...30

Figures………………….………………………………………………………..31

Figure 1: Number of reported infectious diseases by body system

affected among missionaries serving abroad, 1940's-1960's………….....31

Figure 2: Number of reported vaccine preventable diseases among

missionaries serving abroad, 1940's-1960's……………………………..32

CHAPTER 4: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS……………….…33

Summary of Findings…………………….……………………………………....33

Implications and Recommendations…………………….………………………..39

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