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Grandma vs The Doctor: Traditional and New Knowledge in Conflict

What happens when your doctor and family elders disagree?

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Talking to a group of new parents in Tanzania about challenges they faced, and I once heard about an issue I knew all to well. Probably everywhere, parents of young children face the challenge of feeling pressure from their own parents to care for their kids in traditional ways. Even in locations where good research is readily available and the medical community is trusted, it's still often difficult for parents to adopt parenting practices unfamiliar to their older relatives. For communities where information is less accessible and doctors might often be associated with untrusted outside influences, this negotiation can be even harder.  

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How can parents more easily balance traditional and new knowledge in ways that help their children while not alienating other family members?

How can doctors and others with new knowledge better equip parents to adopt new practices by better recognizing their social context?

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

This relates most to the first three Use Cases:

Under-Resourced Moms & Mothers with Chronic Disease who personally feel the tension of conflicting medical and family advice.

This is also a relevant question for Healthcare Providers who need to understand family dynamics they might need to anticipate to gain trust so that their recommendations are not dismissed.

Tell us about yourself:

I'm part of the OpenIDEO team! :)

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No

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