Cultural Views on Health

Topics: Health care, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Health care provider Pages: 6 (1019 words) Published: October 14, 2009

In choosing two different cultures I have decided to focus on

minorities in the U.S. Health care is difficult for many of these to receive,

both because of lack of jobs and insurance and their cultural beliefs. Some

even fear communication due to the need for translators and bilingual health

care workers.

One way to address health disparities (Eliminating Health Disparities,

2009) in minorities is to give them sufficient access to health care. This can

be done by increasing the number of minorities in health care professions,

and increase the competency of those already in health care. This paper will

display two cultural views of these minority groups; Hispanic Americans

and African Americans.

Hispanic Americans

As with many minority groups, Hispanic’s suffer from health

disparities. Hispanic American’s cultural views on health are impacted.

Family is very important in the Hispanic American culture, they live often

several families per house hold or live close together. They also respect

their elders and the men in the family. Family is very important, they also

believe if they have peace and harmony they have their health. They believe

illness comes from bad emotions or a punishment from God. They believe

harmony is important to fight off disease and that their health is in Gods

hands. They do not believe in preventative practices (Office of Minority

Health, 2009). Hispanics wait until they are very ill before going to the

doctor, and don’t like being pressured about it yet they are grateful for the

treatment they receive (Siatkowski, 2007).

Implications for health care providers

Health care workers need to develop cultural competency and receive

more education on different cultural beliefs to be able to give complete care.

(Randall & Muneta, 2000). Learning about different cultures, healthcare

workers need to remind them selves that they are working with individuals

and need to be careful not to stereotype because the beliefs of each patient

vary. Health care workers should be aware of their own beliefs so that it

helps them interact with their patients (Cultural humility, 2009).

African Americans

Negative health disparities affect African Americans. Many

sociocultural factors may play a protective role in health Outcome. In

most black communities, fast-food restaurants are more abundant along with

venders of alcohol than in White communities, and the consumption of the

same is higher among blacks as well (Williams, 1998). The frequent

absence of major grocery chains, farm markets, and whole-food markets in

these same communities means that there are fewer affordable sources of

fresh fruits and vegetables. This will affect the community in trying to

maintain a healthy diet. (Morland, Wing, & Roux, 2002). Increasing the

percentage of food markets vs fast-food restaurants and liquor stores in black

communities is a sensible structural change that might improve health


Religious involvement is important to the African American

Community and have a positive association with health outcome (Journal of

Black psychology, vol. 35 no.2, May 2009 271-288) African Americans

Also believe illness comes from a higher power as a punishment and to have

Harmony is to have their health. In some communities is common for them

to live in large groups, several family generations in one house and

sometimes lack the head of household male. They are dedicated to family

ties and respect their elders and religion. In the United States, black

females have prove to be more religious than the males (Levin, Taylor, &

Chatters, 1994). The church has been a cultural corner stone.

African Americans suffer a disproportionate burden from major

chronic diseases, such as; Asthma (Zoratti et al, 1998), heart disease and...
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