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Ethnology; Public health--Examinations, questions, etc.; Grand Portage Reservation (Minn.)


In the summer of 1962 the population of Grand Portage Chippewa Indian Reservation was brought under review to determine the possible utility of the Cornell Medical Index Health Questionnaire (CMI) in the examination of psychosocial patterns. The use of the questionnaire was part of an investigation of the cultural concepts of health and disease in Grand Portage community. The CMI, therefore, was administered in the context of an ethnological study, and it should be considered in this inquiry as an instrument for studying the socio-cultural dimensions of disease rather than as a method of gathering traditional epidemiological data.

This paper considers some of the findings and problems which arose during the use of a health questionnaire in Grand Portage reservation. The discussion may be divided into two sections: (1) a description of the instrument, some ethnological applications of the CMI from the literature, Grand Portage as an ethnological unit, results and comments; and (2) the CMI as a general concept of western culture, cross-cultural limitations to its use, and possible cross-cultural applications.

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