How Does Culture Affect Health

How culture influences health beliefs

Every culture has its own set of health beliefs that explain what causes sickness, how it may be healed or treated, and who should be engaged in the treatment or cure process. The amount to which patients believe that patient education is culturally relevant to them can have a significant impact on their receipt of the information offered and their desire to apply it. As a consequence of their belief that disease is the product of natural scientific occurrences, Western industrialized civilizations such as the United States favor medical therapies that battle microbes or employ advanced technology to identify and cure sickness.

Patient compliance is significantly influenced by cultural factors.

Asians and Pacific Islanders constitute a significant proportion of the population of the United States.

The extended family holds a great amount of power, and the oldest man in the family is frequently the decision-maker and the family’s public face.

  • Respect is shown to older members of the family, and their authority is frequently uncontested.
  • Disagreement with the suggestions of health-care experts is avoided as a result of a healthy respect for authority.
  • Mental illness or any action that suggests a lack of self-control may result in feelings of shame and guilt among Chinese patients, owing to the fact that the individual’s behavior has an impact on the family.
  • It is common for some sub-populations of cultures, such as those from India and Pakistan, to be reluctant to accept a diagnosis of serious emotional disease or mental retardation because doing so significantly diminishes the likelihood of other members of the family marrying.
  • Healthy living is considered as the consequence of a healthy balance between the poles of heat and cold, which control the operations of the human body.
  • If, on the other hand, trust has been established, it may be possible to accept aid.
  • Medical practitioners in Russia have had an authoritarian relationship with the government, and there has been little opportunity for open dialogue or free sharing of knowledge in the past.

Paternalistic approaches are expected by patients; the competent health care practitioner does not ask patients what they want to do, but rather instructs them on what to do.

However, despite the fact that Hispanics share a common background that includes family and religion, each segment of the Hispanic community has its own set of cultural beliefs and practices.

There are many Hispanic patients who believe that sickness is God’s will or divine retribution as a result of prior or current bad behavior, and many hold fatalistic ideas as well.

A large number of African-Americans are involved in a culture that emphasizes the significance of family and religion.

When making significant health-related decisions, it is customary to talk with a crucial family member.

Native Americans share a number of cultural characteristics, the most prominent of which are a focus on the present and a high regard for collaboration.

They think that when a person lives in complete harmony with nature, he or she is in a condition of good health.

Native Americans may consult with a shaman, who is a traditional medicine man or woman.

As a result, the health-care system is more diverse than it was in the past.

Such expectations have frequently resulted in hurdles to care, which have been exacerbated by the variations in language and education between patients and physicians from various backgrounds, among other factors.

Culture-specific ideas and values are brought to the table by patients and their families in relation to perceptions of health and disease, the reporting of symptoms, expectations for how health care will be given, and views about drugs and treatments.

Within cultures, as well as between cultures, there are differences. Table 14 outlines strategies that you might employ while interacting with patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Table 14 shows the results of the survey.

Strategies for Working With Patients In Cross-Cultural Settings
  • Acquaint yourself with the cultural customs of the people you are caring for. Be alert for any changes in body language, lack of reaction, or worry expressions that may indicate that the patient or family is experiencing difficulties but may be reluctant to share this information with you. Open-ended inquiries should be asked of the patient and his or her family to elicit more information about their assumptions and expectations. When presented with material that displays ideals that are different from your own, maintain your objectivity. Follow the recommendations made by patients regarding the most effective approaches to enhance communication within families and between families and other health-care professionals, including:
SOURCE:Mc Laughlin, L.,Braun, K. (1998). „Asian and Pacific Islander cultural values: Considerations for health care decision-making.“ Health and Social Work, 23 (2), 116-126.

Performing a cultural evaluation

7 Ways Culture Influences Health Care

As a healthcare professional, you may be hesitant to bring up the issue of ethnic disparities since it is unfamiliar ground. But it is a crucial element of the process of delivering care to your patients. Culture has a considerable influence on both diagnosis and treatment choices, mostly as a result of differences in social views, but also as a result of biological aspects, which are discussed below. To enhance the overall quality of patient care, health care practitioners should be aware of the cultural impacts that might have on their patients’ treatment.

  1. The importance of family and community Particular ideas are held by everyone as a consequence of family and communal influences, which is especially true in different nations.
  2. When it comes to family honor and interests, they often take precedence over the interests of the individual.
  3. 2.
  4. It’s a way of life, and that might make it more difficult to get standard therapies.
  5. Others may assume that their condition is the result of a divine intervention and, as a result, refuse medical care.
  6. Different Points of View on Death However, while this is not a question concerning life after death or funeral rites, it is important for doctors to understand the viewpoints of their patients and their families on death if they are to connect with and assist them in their final days.
  7. 4.

In order to make themselves more comfortable, women, for example, may prefer less intrusive procedures.

One person in a relationship may be dominant and think that it is his or her responsibility to make all of the choices in the relationship.

Health Beliefs and Attitudes Cultures frequently hold divergent views on health care in general and on the treatment of specific illnesses.

They also tend to have higher expectations for their physical recovery and the likelihood of acquiring a prescription than other groups.

6.

This increases their likelihood of taking their meds exactly as prescribed significantly.

Responses to Medications are number seven.

There are certain persons from origins other than Caucasian who may not be able to properly metabolize the medicine, which might result in major difficulties during therapy.

Speaking openly about these topics with your patients may be unpleasant at first, but it might be the difference between saving their lives and saving your own career in the long run.

For more information about our employment or staffing services, please contact us at 855-537-8353.

Do Cultural Differences Influence Care Decisions?

You may not want to discuss the issue of ethnic disparities with your patients if you are a healthcare professional. But it is a crucial element of the process of delivering care to your customers. Diagnoses and treatment choices are significantly influenced by culture, mostly as a result of differences in social views, but also as a result of biological variables. Health care workers should be aware of the following cultural factors in order to give better care to patients in general. 1. The importance of family and the local community.

  1. Asians and Pacific Islanders, for example, rely largely on their extended family for financial support and protection.
  2. If you are in charge of offering health care, being aware of instances like these may be quite beneficial in providing appropriate care.
  3. Beliefs and practices Religion is more than a pastime for those who are sincerely devoted.
  4. Some religious groups, such as Jews, refrain from eating specific foods because of their beliefs, and as a result, when developing any type of nutritional plan, it is important to take their dietary preferences into account.
  5. 3rd, Death from Different Perspectives However, while this is not a topic concerning life after death or funeral rites, it is important for doctors to understand the viewpoints of their patients and their families on death if they are to connect with and aid them.
  6. Four.
  7. In order to make themselves more comfortable, women, for example, may prefer less intrusive procedures.

The dominating spouse in a relationship may assume it is his or her responsibility to make all of the choices.

Attitudes Toward Health Health care views vary greatly across cultures, and this is especially true for women.

For their part, people with a Hispanic heritage want immediate relief, but they are less likely to put their faith in American treatments.

The likelihood of their taking their drugs as prescribed increases dramatically.

7.

The medicine may not be metabolized properly in some persons from ethnic origins other than Caucasian, which might result in major difficulties during therapy for these individuals.

Speaking openly about these topics with your patients may be unpleasant at first, but it might be the difference between saving their lives and saving your own.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 855-537-8353 right away.

The Influence of Culture on Health Care Decisions

When it comes to medical relations, culture is extremely important. It has an impact on how a person perceives an illness or treatment, for example, and on how a physician should interact with an elderly patient, among other things. The decision-making process may be influenced by a person’s cultural background. Cultural beliefs can influence how a patient seeks care and from whom he or she seeks it, how he or she manages self-care, how he or she makes health-related decisions, and how she might respond to a particular therapy.

  • All aspects of health-care delivery are influenced by cultural factors, including doctor-patient communications and interactions as well as disparities in health-care delivery, health-care outcomes, and even the illness experience itself.
  • While many people within a culture share common beliefs, practices, and institutions, there can be significant differences between individuals within the same culture.
  • Subgroups may have a distinctive use of language, family roles, religion and spirituality, definition of illness, and use of healing and treatment practices that are distinct from the rest of the population.
  • While the majority of Hispanics seek health care from primary care physicians and other cosmopolitan sources, some still rely on home remedies, such as those recommended by a folk healer orcurandero.

Culture and Communication

Language and literacy difficulties may play a role in the inability to communicate effectively between doctors and patients from various cultural backgrounds. Some seniors and their families may be unable to obtain the health information they require in order to make educated decisions because of a communication breakdown. They may not be aware of where to get information in a foreign language, or they may not be aware of how to locate a health care practitioner who is fluent in the foreign language.

If, for example, the eldest male in an Asian-Pacific Islander family is frequently the decision-maker and spokesman, physicians would typically consult with the eldest male rather than the patient when making health-care decisions for the family.

It is common for older folks from a variety of cultures to avoid making direct eye contact with someone they do not know well. The inability to communicate effectively in another language can also lead to high levels of caregiver stress.

Culture and Family Caregiving

In Hispanic culture, the family unit is the foundation of all societal relationships and interactions with others. Traditionally, in Hispanic culture, family units are intergenerational families that give support and a role for each and every member of the household. In most cases, grandparents prepare meals, supervise children, and impart knowledge, while parents work and run the family. Older children and young adults provide age-related help to elderly matriarchs and patriarchs in their families, which is the norm in informal family caregiving situations.

  • While providing care to family members brings happiness to people of many cultures, the task may be difficult since caregivers must manage employment, children, and caring for elderly parents at the same time.
  • Despite the fact that family caregiving is the norm in the Hispanic community and other cultures, it is not always a practical choice for all families.
  • In these situations, finding a pleasant place to live where people recognize cultural differences that might have an impact on health-care decisions is critical.
  • Lake Park is a full-service retirement home that is committed to providing the greatest level of care possible to its residents.

Consider Culture, Customs, and Beliefs: Tool #10

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Overview

Patients’ understanding of health concepts, how they care for their health, and how they make health-related decisions can all be influenced by their religious, cultural, and religious views, as well as their ethnic customs. It is possible for physicians to provide medical advise without knowing how health beliefs and cultural practices impact the way that information is perceived if they do not get enough training. When physicians ask questions about a patient’s religion, culture, and ethnic traditions, they may better engage the patient so that the two of them can jointly develop treatment plans that are compatible with the patient’s values.

  • Health beliefs: People in certain cultures think that talking about a probable terrible health consequence will result in that outcome occurring. The role of family members in health-care decision-making: In certain cultures, family members have a significant role in health-care decision-making. The conventions of one’s ethnic group: The different roles played by men and women in society may influence who makes decisions about accepting and following through with medical treatment. The religious faith and spiritual views of a person may have an impact on their health-seeking behavior as well as their readiness to accept certain therapies or behavioural modifications. The patient’s dietary habits: If the disease-related dietary advice does not correspond to the foods or cooking methods that the patient is used to, it will be difficult to follow. Interpersonal customs: In certain cultures, eye contact or physical touch will be expected, while in others, it will be considered inappropriate or insulting.

Learn from patients.

  • Inquire respectfully about patients’ health beliefs and practices, and make a note of their comments in their medical records. Patients’ cultural beliefs should be addressed individually in the context of their health-care needs. As an illustration:
  • What I’m wondering is whether there’s anything I should know about your culture, beliefs, or religious traditions that might assist me in taking better care of you. When developing a meal plan to assist you in losing weight, we ask if you have any dietary limitations that we should take into consideration. in addition to this, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] “Your medical situation is really critical. Some individuals want to know everything that is going on with their sickness, whilst others may only want to know the most crucial information, and not necessarily all of the intricacies, about their condition. What level of detail are you interested in? Please let me know if there is anyone else you would like me to speak with regarding your health.” “Can you tell me what your sickness is called and what you believe caused it?”
  • “Do you have any traditional healers who advise you on your health?”
  • Avoid making generalizations about people based on their religious or ethnic backgrounds. It is important to remember that each person is an individual who may or may not adhere to certain cultural ideas or practices that are prevalent in his or her society. Inquiring about a patient’s beliefs and way of life is the most effective strategy to ensure that you understand how their values may affect their care.

Learn from other sources.

  • Educating people about cultural competency, both as a general issue and in relation to specific groups, may be accomplished through high-quality internet resources.
  • There are various choices for free continuing education credit through the “Think Cultural Health” program.
  • EthnoMed is a Web site that provides information about cultural beliefs, medical difficulties, and other related issues that are relevant to the health care of recent immigrants
  • It is also a resource for health professionals. Culture Clues are one-page tip sheets that provide insight into the health care preferences and views of patients from ten various cultures and special needs groups, all on the same page (including the deaf and hard-of-hearing). The website also includes information on end-of-life issues
  • TheCulture, Language, and Health LiteracyWebsite provides an exhaustive list of resources on cultural competence issues for specific ethnicities, religions, and special populations
  • And theCulture, Language, and Health LiteracyWebsite provides an exhaustive list of resources on end-of-life issues.
  • A non-profit community organization Religion-based and cultural groups, for example, may frequently give information and assistance to assist you in making your practice more “culture-friendly.”
  • Invite a representative from a relevant ethnic group to participate in a staff meeting and discuss their insights about how cultural beliefs may influence health care delivery
  • Invite a cultural competency specialist to deliver an in-service training session to educate personnel on the importance of cultural competence.
  • Ensure that orientation and subsequent training sessions include cultural competency. Consider taking advantage of chances to include cultural competency into all of your training sessions
  • Use interpreters to serve as cultural intermediaries between participants. Interpreters can assist you and your patients avoid misunderstandings related to cultural differences by removing language barriers between you and your patients. For additional information about interpreters, see Tool 9: Addressing Language Disparities.

Help staff learn from each other.

You might do the following to promote awareness of cultural competency among your employees:

  • Hire employees that are representative of the demographics of your patient base. These employees may contribute to the creation of a welcoming atmosphere for patients and can share insights with other employees about the traditions of their religious or ethnic groups. Employees should be encouraged to undergo online cultural competency training and to share what they have learnt with their coworkers during a staff meeting.

Track Your Progress

Prior to applying this Tool, determine the number of employees who have completed a cultural competency training session and recorded their results. After 2, 6, and 12 months, repeat the procedure. Every so often, choose a random sample of medical records and determine what proportion of them contain notes about the patient’s culture, customs, or medical beliefs. Return to the Table of ContentsLast updated on September 20, 2020 Consider Culture, Customs, and Beliefs: Tool10 was initially produced in February 2015 and is available on the internet.

The most recent revision of the content was made in September 2020. Rockville, Maryland is the headquarters of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

How does culture affect healthcare?

What I’m wondering is, as a nurse practitioner, how do I go about finding work in a clinic where the majority of the patients are Muslims. What do I need to know about Muslim culture in order to provide the best treatment possible? Answer: Chaplain and Cultural Competency Educator at Fairview-University Medical Center in Minneapolis, David Berg states the following: For the reasons you have already discovered, healthcare is not a “one size fits all” career! Being sensitive to the ways in which culture and faith influence your patients’ healthcare experiences is critical.

  • An attitude of openness and acceptance will go a long way in helping you.
  • In spite of this fact, having a general awareness of diverse cultures might be advantageous.
  • DIET: Observant Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, which takes place in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and lasts from June to August.
  • Because some of these patients may have a critical requirement to eat in order to heal, it is crucial to communicate with them about this.
  • Due to the fact that this pig derivative is considered forbidden in Muslim culture, alternate formulations or therapies are recommended instead.
  • Some of your Muslim patients will be uncomfortable shaking hands with a member of the opposing sex.
  • However, if the patient offers his or her hand when you first meet, you should, without a doubt, shake it.
  • They will feel comfortable undressing or exposing only the area of their body that is now being checked.
  • There are several cultural competence materials available to assist you in learning about, comprehending, and evaluating the significance of culture in healthcare.

As a result of the CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) standards (), which were developed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Minority Health, and Resources for Cross Cultural Health Care, many of these tools are available for free online.

How Patients’ Culture Influences Health Care

The demographics of the United States population have shifted dramatically during the last two decades. When it comes to racial and cultural variety, the American “melting pot” metaphor has never been more apt than it is now, as our country continues to grow. Hispanic and Asian populations climbed by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the most current census statistics. Asian populations expanded faster than any other major race group during that time period, according to the data.

While the vast majority of Americans — nearly 7 in 10 — continue to identify as Christians, the number of adherents of other religions is increasing in the United States.

What does this entail for those who work in the healthcare industry?

According to the New York Times, an increasing number of medical schools are including “cultural competence” into their courses.

Different cultures, different values

According to Dr. Arthur Kleinman, professor of medical anthropology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “culture acts on all levels,” as reported in the New York Times story “Bridging the Culture Gap.” In addition, it has an impact on health inequalities, communication and interactions in the doctor-patient relationship, the patient’s disease experience, and health care outcomes.” We all know that communication between a doctor and a patient is critical, and that literacy and language limitations can play a role.

  • The ability to be culturally sensitive, on the other hand, does not stop with providing an interpreter for patients who require one.
  • Every aspect of patient care, from eye contact to whom to address in the examination room, may be influenced by their cultural origins.
  • For example, according to the web site EuroMed Info in an article titled “Impact of Culture on Patient Education,” the oldest man in the family is frequently the decision-maker and spokesperson among Asians/Pacific Islanders, a big ethnic community in the United States.
  • Therefore, patients may choose not to express their worries or disagreements to their doctors, but this does not imply that they will not follow treatment recommendations in the future.
  • Hispanic communities also have a tendency to respect and consult with senior members of their families when making health-related decisions.
  • According to Pew Research Center, Hispanics account for about one-third of Catholic adults in the United States.
  • The organization advises doctors to learn about the cultural traditions of the patients they care for and to remain nonjudgmental when the patients’ values differ from their own.
  • These patients frequently have very stringent privacy, modesty, and dietary requirements, as well as the requirement to avoid using medications that contain alcohol.
  • When it comes to health care, they want their doctor to tell them what to do rather than perceiving themselves as partners in the decision-making process.
  • However, cultural competency should not be reduced to a checklist of items to tick off.

Kleinman says, “You don’t want physicians carrying around plastic cards detailing the five things you need to think about when you encounter, for example, an Asian-American patient.” “What you’re looking for is the ability to inquire and to ask questions,” says the author.

Culture goes both ways

The first step in achieving cultural competency in your profession is raising your awareness of the issue. It is important for doctors to recognize that they contribute their own cultural background to patient relationships, even if they are not conscious of doing so. For example, in contemporary medicine, the attention might sometimes be more on the disease than on the person who is ill, as in the case of cancer. In Dr. Kleinman’s opinion, “there are cultural concerns on both the patient’s and the doctor’s sides,” and he believes that both parties should be aware of and able to reflect on them in a self-critical manner.

as anything that they’re going to do in terms of pharmacology or surgical procedures.” Obtaining an accurate medical history and devising a treatment plan that the patient understands and is motivated to follow are just a few of the steps involved in the care process, according to her.

Among the tools and resources available from THC is “A Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care,” a self-directed online training course that qualifies for Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours.

Culture, behavior and health

Navigation within this article University Park, State College, PA 16802, USA; Margarita Hernandez, Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University; Margarita Hernandez The author who will be replying. Faculty and staff of Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Anthropology may be found in 516 Carpenter Building at University Park in State College, Pennsylvania 16802. Call (814) 865-2509 or send a fax to (814) 863-1474. E-mail:[email protected] Other works by this author may be found at:James K.

Canadian Anthropology Department of the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Look for further publications by this author on the following dates:Published:16 December 2019

  • Contents of the article
  • Figures and tables
  • Video
  • Audio
  • And supplemental data

Cite

  • The authors, Margarita Hernandez and James K. Gibb, “Culture, behavior, and health,” in Evolved Medicine and Public Health (Volume 2020, Issue 1, 2020), pages 12–13, concluding their article:

DEFINITION AND BACKGROUND

Human health is greatly influenced by cultural habits, which have profound ramifications. Over the course of our species’ evolutionary history, culture has been a vital form of adaptation. Culture is a socially transmitted system of shared knowledge, beliefs, and/or behaviors that differs among groups and between people within those groups. Individuals’ experiences, conceptualizations, and reactions to their reality are influenced by their socioeconomic level, gender, religion, and moral beliefs, and as a result, generic understandings of cultural groups are insufficient for appreciating a patient’s particular experience with health and sickness.

It is possible to improve the context, skills, and empathy that medical practitioners provide to patients by better understanding how actions are founded in an individual’s unique cultural background as well as a response to societal forces.

It is possible to get insight into patients’ identities, interpretations of sickness, and moral beliefs through the use of a’mini-ethnography,’ which can assist healthcare practitioners in developing a trusting connection with them and incorporating the patient’s life experiences into treatment regimens.

This strategy is summarized in Table 1. To better include a patient’s culture into treatment plans, Kleinman and Benson developed a method for doing a “mini-ethnography” with each individual patient (see Table 1).

Steps for performing a mini-ethnography Description
Step 1:How does ethnicity factor into your patient’s identity? Not all individual’s identify with their ethnicity. Ask your patient how they identify with theirs and the importance their ethnicity plays in their life.
Step 2:What is at stake for your patient and their loved ones? Illnesses can jeopardize aspects of patients’ lives in ways that may not be immediately visible. Ask your patient what is at stake in having this illness.
Step 3:How does your patient conceptualize their illness? Individuals may conceptualize their illness differently than healthcare providers. Ask your patient what they call their illness, what they believe the cause of their illness may be, what they believe potential treatments are, and what they fear most about treatment.
Step 4:What social stresses is your patient experiencing because of their illness? Ask your patient what additional stressors they may be experiencing because of their illness. These can include financial, familial and professional stressors that may impact their treatment plan.
Step 5:How does the clinical setting influence your relationship with your patient? Determine and acknowledge the extent to which the clinical setting may influence your patient. How does the culture of biomedicine influence your patient’s ability to seek and receive treatment for their illness?
Step 6:Is this intervention appropriate for your patient? Determine what clinical interventions would be appropriate for your patient, not necessarily for the illness. This should factor in the information you’ve gathered from the previous steps.
Steps for performing a mini-ethnography Description
Step 1:How does ethnicity factor into your patient’s identity? Not all individual’s identify with their ethnicity. Ask your patient how they identify with theirs and the importance their ethnicity plays in their life.
Step 2:What is at stake for your patient and their loved ones? Illnesses can jeopardize aspects of patients’ lives in ways that may not be immediately visible. Ask your patient what is at stake in having this illness.
Step 3:How does your patient conceptualize their illness? Individuals may conceptualize their illness differently than healthcare providers. Ask your patient what they call their illness, what they believe the cause of their illness may be, what they believe potential treatments are, and what they fear most about treatment.
Step 4:What social stresses is your patient experiencing because of their illness? Ask your patient what additional stressors they may be experiencing because of their illness. These can include financial, familial and professional stressors that may impact their treatment plan.
Step 5:How does the clinical setting influence your relationship with your patient? Determine and acknowledge the extent to which the clinical setting may influence your patient. How does the culture of biomedicine influence your patient’s ability to seek and receive treatment for their illness?
Step 6:Is this intervention appropriate for your patient? Determine what clinical interventions would be appropriate for your patient, not necessarily for the illness. This should factor in the information you’ve gathered from the previous steps.

To better include a patient’s culture into treatment plans, Kleinman and Benson developed a method for doing a “mini-ethnography” with each individual patient (see Table 1).

Steps for performing a mini-ethnography Description
Step 1:How does ethnicity factor into your patient’s identity? Not all individual’s identify with their ethnicity. Ask your patient how they identify with theirs and the importance their ethnicity plays in their life.
Step 2:What is at stake for your patient and their loved ones? Illnesses can jeopardize aspects of patients’ lives in ways that may not be immediately visible. Ask your patient what is at stake in having this illness.
Step 3:How does your patient conceptualize their illness? Individuals may conceptualize their illness differently than healthcare providers. Ask your patient what they call their illness, what they believe the cause of their illness may be, what they believe potential treatments are, and what they fear most about treatment.
Step 4:What social stresses is your patient experiencing because of their illness? Ask your patient what additional stressors they may be experiencing because of their illness. These can include financial, familial and professional stressors that may impact their treatment plan.
Step 5:How does the clinical setting influence your relationship with your patient? Determine and acknowledge the extent to which the clinical setting may influence your patient. How does the culture of biomedicine influence your patient’s ability to seek and receive treatment for their illness?
Step 6:Is this intervention appropriate for your patient? Determine what clinical interventions would be appropriate for your patient, not necessarily for the illness. This should factor in the information you’ve gathered from the previous steps.
Steps for performing a mini-ethnography Description
Step 1:How does ethnicity factor into your patient’s identity? Not all individual’s identify with their ethnicity. Ask your patient how they identify with theirs and the importance their ethnicity plays in their life.
Step 2:What is at stake for your patient and their loved ones? Illnesses can jeopardize aspects of patients’ lives in ways that may not be immediately visible. Ask your patient what is at stake in having this illness.
Step 3:How does your patient conceptualize their illness? Individuals may conceptualize their illness differently than healthcare providers. Ask your patient what they call their illness, what they believe the cause of their illness may be, what they believe potential treatments are, and what they fear most about treatment.
Step 4:What social stresses is your patient experiencing because of their illness? Ask your patient what additional stressors they may be experiencing because of their illness. These can include financial, familial and professional stressors that may impact their treatment plan.
Step 5:How does the clinical setting influence your relationship with your patient? Determine and acknowledge the extent to which the clinical setting may influence your patient. How does the culture of biomedicine influence your patient’s ability to seek and receive treatment for their illness?
Step 6:Is this intervention appropriate for your patient? Determine what clinical interventions would be appropriate for your patient, not necessarily for the illness. This should factor in the information you’ve gathered from the previous steps.

EXAMPLES IN HUMAN BIOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Local ecological knowledge (LEK) was shown to be associated with lower inflammation, taller height, and fewer hookworm infections among children born to mothers with higher LEK indices in rural Bolivia than children born to mothers with lower LEK indices. A number of cultural models for understanding and responding to disease epidemics are available to the Acholi people of Uganda, and these models were used during the Ebola outbreak of 2000. Traditions associated togemo, or an epidemic outbreak, among Acholi communities help to prevent the transmission of infectious illnesses that may have originated as a result of customary burial activities, such as the washing and touching of departed corpses.

EXAMPLE IN CLINICAL MEDICINE

When studying the relationship between culture and health, it is vital to understand how social forces, such as racism and prejudice, appear medically. Women who had experienced ethnic discrimination during pregnancy in New Zealand had high cortisol levels, and their newborns had increased cortisol reactivity, indicating that discrimination had a transgenerational effect on them and their children.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Dr. Margarita Hernandez is sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DGE1255832). There have been no declared conflicts of interest.

REFERENCES

1HruschkaDJ, HadleyC.A vocabulary of culture in epidemiology: a resource for researchers. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health2008;62:947–51. 2NapierAD,AncarnoC,ButlerBet al., “Culture and Health.” Culture and Health. Lancet2014;384:1607–39. Anthropology in the clinic: the problem of cultural competency and how to solve it, Kleinman A, Benson P. Anthropology in the clinic: the problem of cultural competency and how to fix it 2006;3(e294-1676) in PLoS Medicine. 4-Stonington et al.—Holmes et al.—Hansen The application of case studies in social medicine in clinical practice – paying attention to structural factors in clinical practice The New England Journal of Medicine379:1958–61.

  1. In the Bolivian Amazon, ethnobotanical knowledge is connected with indicators of child health, according to the study.
  2. The following six authors (Tanners, Chuquimia-Choque, Huanca, et al.) In an Amazonian culture, the effects of indigenous medical knowledge and cleanliness on helminth infections were investigated.
  3. Soc Sci Med.
  4. 7HewlettBS, HewlettBL.Ebola, Culture, and Politics: The Anthropology of an Emerging Disease.
  5. Cengage Learning, Boston, Massachusetts, 2008.
  6. Insights from New Zealand show that ethnic prejudice is associated with lower self-rated health and elevated cortisol levels during pregnancy.
  7. The Author(s) will publish their work in 2020.

If you want to reuse, distribute, or reproduce this content in any form, the Creative Commons Attribution License () allows you to do so without restriction as long as the original work is properly attributed.

Related articles in PubMed

People’s conceptions of health, the languages they speak, the health literacy skills they possess, and the circumstances in which they communicate about health are all influenced by their cultural backgrounds and traditions. When your organization’s personnel acknowledges and bridges cultural gaps that may lead to misunderstanding, your company will become more health literate and its communication effectiveness will grow.

Cross-Cultural Communication

Depending on the definition used, culture can be defined by group membership (e.g. ethnic, linguistic or geographical groupings), and/or as a collection of beliefs, values, conventions (including methods of thinking and communicating), and behaviors (including ways of behaving) distinctive to a group. Public health professionals and health-care practitioners are members of professional cultures that have their own jargon, such as epidemiological and medical words, that they must communicate in.

When there are additional cultural differences present, it might make it much more difficult to communicate effectively.

The National CLAS Standards are a set of 15 action steps designed to advance health equity, improve quality, and assist in the elimination of health care disparities by providing a blueprint for individuals, health and health care organizations, and other organizations to implement culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Your business can utilize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication to identify preferred words for certain populations.

Translation and Interpretation

Communication that is effective understands and crosses cultural differences is essential. Language barriers can be bridged more effectively with the use of translated materials and interpretation services; nevertheless, translations and interpreting services may not be completely accurate or complete. The words for things that exist in other languages and cultures do not exist in all languages, and not all words and concepts can be simply translated into or described in a different language in the same way.

The meaning of translated and interpreted words may be influenced by the context in which they are used, such as the physical location or the shared or dissimilar experiences of the parties involved.

To reduce the likelihood of confusion, trained translators and interpreters should be matched with the core audience.

The American Translators Association’s external iconprovides information on how to discover and become a certified translator in your area.

Language Access

According to the United States Census Bureau, at least 350 different languages are spoken in American households. The federal agencies and organizations that receive federal money are required to develop and implement policies and procedures to fulfill the requirements of persons who have limited English proficiency external icon (LEP). To ensure that your site content, social media communications, and other digital goods are appropriate for persons with LEP, review the resources listed below:

  • The Importance of Accessibility for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Individuals to Public Websites and Digital Services pdf iconexternal icon In December 2021, the Limited English Proficiency Committee of the Title VI Interagency Working Group will convene. In clear language, this resource explains best practices for enhancing access to public websites and digital services for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP), as the title indicates. The examples include websites, social media messaging, and other digital items, among other things.
  • Designing for Multilingualism (Digital.gov Multilingual Community of Practice, May 2021) The following topics will be covered by the presenters during this webinar:
  • What is the process of designing for translation? Language selection
  • Plain language
  • Brevity Layout and photography
  • Practical Guidelines for Creating Accessible Content and Creating Multilingual Websites external icon (Digital.gov Multilingual Community of Practice, December 2020) In this webinar, two digital accessibility specialists address the accessibility concerns that should be taken into account while developing and dealing with multilingual content and platforms. Move the video progress bar forward to the 33:36 point to see what happens.

Consult theGuide to Providing Effective Communication and Language Assistance Services external icon for further information on how to improve effective communication amongst persons who provide and receive care in health care institutions.

Resources for Translated Materials

  • In Spanish, you can find: CDC.gov
  • Health Information in Multiple Languages
  • External icons to choose from (U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus)
  • Resources in Multiple Languages from Other Federal Agencies external icon (National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities)
  • Resources in Multiple Languages from Other Federal Agencies external icon (National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities

Connectedness – Culture

“Music provides me with comfort. I’m a pianist and a singer. “Music has unquestionably saved my life.”

Overview

Humans are cultural beings in their own right. The initial ties with culture are frequently formed inside the family, and they have an impact on how we view ourselves and what we consider to be essential in life. When it comes to mental health and well-being, your familial and cultural history have a significant impact on your attitudes: how you are taught to cope with issues and tough situations, how and with whom you talk about them, and how and where you seek assistance. Your cultural background may also influence your ability to relax, practice self-care, and resolve problems.

Your cultural identity may be in conflict if you reside in a place where the prevailing culture is distinct from, or lacks tolerance for, the culture of your birth, or if your parents come from different cultural backgrounds.

Because of this, you may feel disoriented and alone.

On our meaningful life pages, you can learn more about how to take care of your health and well-being.

A closer look

People from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds frequently find significant value and significance in continuing to participate in activities that are consistent with their cultural background. It has been discovered that doing so increases good emotions and feelings while also having a beneficial impact on social ties with people. They gain confidence in themselves and get an understanding of and appreciation for our human similarities and differences when youngsters are given the opportunity to practice and share components of their culture.

  • Dancing has been shown to boost self-esteem while simultaneously reducing anxiety, despair, and physical aches and pains.
  • Participating in the arts in any capacity for at least two hours per week has been shown to be connected with excellent mental health.
  • (Source 1)(Source 2)(Source 3)(Source 4)(Source 5) This has had a significant detrimental influence on their social and emotional well-being and continues to do so.
  • When it comes to mental health, a person’s attitude toward it may be impacted by their cultural background.

Mental health difficulties are stigmatized in certain cultures, causing emotions of dread and shame in those who are experiencing them. This can hinder those who are suffering these issues – as well as their caregivers and families – from getting assistance. (Refer to Source 1) (Source 2)

Next steps

You might find mental health options available online and over the phone to be beneficial. Listed below are some options. You may learn more about us by using our search tool (opens in a new tab).

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