Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Rose Utley


Amish culture, Amish health perceptions and beliefs, cultural healthcare decision making, Amish health practices, culturally sensitive healthcare

Subject Categories



The Amish are a religious subculture who choose to remain separate from the secular world while at the same time interacting with the dominant culture for their healthcare needs. The local Old Order Amish community of Webster County Missouri is a group who has not been formally studied. The purpose of this project was to explore the health perceptions and variables that influence healthcare decision-making in this local Amish community. It is important for healthcare providers to understand perceptions and practices that influence healthcare decision-making of the Amish to provide this group with culturally competent healthcare. This qualitative study consisted of face-to-face interviews of members of the Webster County Amish population. An interview guide developed by the researcher and reviewed by Amish bishops and healthcare providers who frequently interact with this group was used. Thematic analysis of interview data was then performed to identify healthcare beliefs and practices, from which were developed 13 themes related to the research questions. The Amish place great importance in the advice of others, and they believe that God is in control of all sickness and health. In addition, the Amish exhibit an internal locus of control by recognizing the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. The findings of the study will contribute to our understanding of the local Amish community and will allow healthcare practitioners to provide culturally appropriate and culturally sensitive healthcare for this unique population.


© Jaimee Allisen Givens

Campus Only