Document Type



This is the report of a health needs assessment for the Oneida Indian Nation of New York (ONNY). This needs assessment was conducted in order to collect population-based data related to behavioral risks and reproductive health for Oneida males and females. The survey of the Oneida was initiated because there is almost no risk factor data available on Indian tribes of the northeast, and none available for the Oneida Nation of New York. There are four primary goals for the 1990 Oneida Nation Health Needs Assessment. They are 1) to collect behavioral risk factor and reproductive health data for adult Oneida Nation members living on or near Oneida Nation lands, 2) to assess the current basic health needs of the ONNY, 3) to document the medical providers and hospitals which are currently being utilized by the Nation members and. 4) to develop recommendations for use by health planners from this baseline data.The Oneida Nation Health Needs Assessment (ONHNA) was carried out among enrolled members of the Oneida Nation who were 18 years of age and older who lived in the six counties that are contiguous to the Oneida Nation lands. The Nation Enrollment List was used to identify the Oneida population located in the six-county area. The choice to interview only adults was made to avoid legal difficulties in interviewing minors. Interviewing was conducted in each household face-to-face rather than using mailed questionnaires or telephone contact. All interviewers were enrolled Oneida Nation members. Interviews were conducted by interviewers of the same sex as the respondent. All interviewers participated in one week of training prior to the start of the field work. Four types of data were collected. First, the behavioral risk factors surveyed were related to the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Behavioral factors include seat belt usage, physical exercise, diet, cigarette and smokeless tobacco usage, alcohol consumption, and the existence of high blood pressure. The second data set included health needs. The survey questions dealt with the prevalence of current diseases and health problems among the Oneidas, and with whether the Oneida people have routine screening tests such as cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension, and eye exams, pap smears, breast exams, and rectal exams. The third set of data questions focused on reproductive health factors. Questions covered topics such as fertility, contraception, and general maternal-child health conditions. The fourth and final set of questions gathered data on health care utilization. This data will be used to establish health provider contracts with physicians, dentists, pediatricians, and hospitals to provide quality health care for a more reasonable cost. For each risk factor, comparisons were made between the Oneida Nation and data from the 1988 New York State Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.The individual completion rates were 54% for females and 69% for males for a total of 211 respondents in all. The following is an abbreviated summary of selected data from the survey. Seat belt use was only slightly lower than for all New Yorkers. Non-use was highest among young drivers. Sixty percent of Oneida males and 78 percent of Oneida females reported having their blood pressure taken within a year of the survey. All Oneida members were more active physically than the general New York population. However, all Oneida members were more likely to be overweight by comparison Forty percent of all Oneida people are smokers compared to 25 percent of the New York population. Fifty-seven percent of Oneida males and 32 percent of Oneida females are classified as acute and heavy drinkers. Percentages for regular health checks across all factors vary considerably among the Oneida people. Several areas of concern were identified including cholesterol checks, diabetes screening, rectal exams and mammograms. The completed fertility of the Oneida women in this survey is 2.1 children which is lower than that of all U.S. women surveyed in the 1980 census. Female sterilization is the most prevalent contraceptive method among Oneida women. as it is among the general U.S. population.With respect to behavioral risks, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are of major concern. This impacts on concerns for overall reproductive health. The task now is to identify the highest priority objectives and to secure resources needed to accomplish these tasks.

Publication Date



Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Research, Rockville, MD 20857 (E-111).