Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Health Status; Indians, North American


The purpose of this literature review is: to describe the historical context of Native American health, identify current challenges to Native American health and propose strategies to deal with the adverse effects of one of these challenges.

The historical context of Native American health discussed includes a history of Indian Health service and it's role as provider of American Indian health care since 1830. Challenges to the Indian Health Service population outlined include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and alcoholism. Strategies to deal with the adverse effects of diabetes and the high rate of lower extremity amputation, as it relates to Native Americans, are discussed. An example of a preprosthetic home program that may be implemented to address lower extremity amputation within IHS.

Appropriate training and experience, continuing education, and structured treatment programs are crucial to the management of the diseases that affect this population. Methods to provide continuing education and training of health care personnel within the illS needs to be incorporated within the current system. Collaboration between IHS and outside providers can contribute to the continuity of care that is lacking within the current structure.