2017 Summer Internship in Qualitative Analysis and International Research:
Focus on Positive Mental Health
The Duke Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research is looking for a self-motivated undergraduate or graduate student to work with a team analyzing interview and diary data from orphan caregivers in India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Our international team members are conducting interviews with caregivers now and will have them translated and transcribed by May. We are looking for an intern whom we will teach to code transcript quotes in the software NVivo and to contribute original thinking about the data across countries and religions.
The Caregiver Flourishing study’s aim is to understand how caregivers sustain emotional engagement, derive satisfaction, and maintain positive mental health through different virtuous/religious practices. The study defines positive mental health as the combination of positive mood/emotions, as well as the ability to function well. By functioning well, they refer to the ability to function as an individual (having purpose, personal growth, etc.) and within a social setting (developing connections with people, contributing to others, etc.).
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week and Depression Awareness Month, I interviewed Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, an associate research professor of Global Health in DGHI whose research focuses on positive mental health, clergy health, and the integration of care within health systems.
In 2007, Proeschold-Bell founded the Clergy Health Initiative, a program developed to improve health outcomes among the clergy of North Carolina. In their first study, they performed a longitudinal survey of nine Methodist churches in North Carolina to determine the clergy’s health status. It was found that the clergy had a far higher obesity rate (41%) than the rest of North Carolina (29%). High rates of chronic disease associated with overweight/obese individuals were also present. The most interesting find, though, was that depression rates were double that of the regional average. Why?