Im Explores Health, Culture Ties
“Culture is colorful. Culture is elegant. Culture is in our daily lives. Culture is embedded in our beliefs and attitudes. Culture is…everywhere.”
So began the second NINR Director’s Lecture of 2019 with Dr. Eun-Ok Im describing her research that explores the relationship between culture and health.
Im’s inspiration for her research began when her mother was going through menopause. Im decided to look at Korean culture and women’s health experience after noticing that her mother was suffering from easily manageable menopausal symptoms that she never discussed. Im later transitioned to examining Korean culture as it related to pain management and cancer. Her current research broadly focuses on gender and ethnic health disparities due to cultural influences.
Across her studies, Im uses computer and mobile technology as her method for conducting research. In her first R01 study, she aimed to identify gender and ethnic differences in cancer pain experience among four racial and ethnic groups and develop a decision support system for cancer pain management. This study was one of the first internet-based studies of its kind; Im discussed the challenges she faced as one of the pioneers of this type of technology-based research.
Im has used her research findings to develop technology-based interventions. She advocates for using these interventions because they can reach racial and ethnic minorities across the nation, provide 24-hour access to the intervention and overcome cultural stigma and cultural hesitance by using non-face-to-face interactions.
Im is associate dean for research development and regulatory affairs and Mary T. Champagne professor at Duke University School of Nursing. She has gained national and international recognition as a methodologist, researcher and theorist in international, cross-cultural women’s health.
Im’s lecture is available on NINR’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/xX7iNXVBLJI.—Diana Finegold