Assessing Cultural Values and Beliefs

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Illness Pages: 3 (1033 words) Published: August 24, 2013
The “Heritage Assessment Tool” is a guide to help determine cultural, ethnic, and religious heritage. It may be used to assess your own cultural values or the cultural values of other ethno cultural backgrounds. Using this tool will guide the user into making non-stereotyped assumptions about the heritage of a patient. The Heritage Assessment Tool allows the interviewer to gather a deeper understanding of the traditions that make up the health background of certain individuals or groups. Three families including the authors own, will be evaluated for differences in health traditions. Health maintenance, protection and restoration will be addressed as well as, identifying common health traditions based on the authors own cultural heritage. Three different interviews were taken to determine the differences in health maintenance, protection, and restoration. The first individual interviewed was of Hmong descent. He was born in Laos and his grandparents were born in China. Summarization of the assessment tool showed high positive response. Hmong are a relatively close knit community that still practice an estimated seventy percent of Hmong religion (Carteret, 2012). There is little health maintenance as opposed the western culture. Many Hmong, especially the elderly, treat illness only when it occurs. The soul governs the body and when illness or invasive procedures occurs, the soul flees the body. Spiritual healings transpire when the shaman retrieves lost souls. Maintaining perfect health is the balance between spirit and body. Physical causes such as environmental factors and poor dietary practices, such as hot/cold food imbalances, cause physical illness. Mental illness is caused by loss of spirits, curses, evil spirits and ancestral misdeeds. Different degrees of illness require clan leaders to place braided strands of string on the patient. The color is dependent on the degree of illness, red being extremely ill. These may only be removed by...

References: Bhungalia, S., Kelly, T., Van De Keift, S., & Young, M. (n.d.). Indians Culture Health Refugees Immigrants. Indian Health Care Beliefs and Practices. Retrieved from
Carteret, M. (2012). Providing Healthcare to Hmong Patients and Families. Dimensions of Culture. Retrieved from
Duncan, S. (n.d.). Family Tradition. Retrieved from
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