Cross-cultural Use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Although the cultural aspects of the pregnancy-related period in women’s lives have been studied extensively worldwide, the impact of cultural factors upon pregnancy-related depression has been investigated far less. Most research into pregnancy-related depression has been conducted in Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Australia. This research has been based primarily on studies of Western...
read more

Reading Between the Head Nods

It is important for U.S. healthcare providers to understand some key aspects of how language and culture can affect interactions with patients and families who have come to this country from other cultures―especially recent immigrants and refugees. Providers may not be prepared for the high context communication style that is normal in many societies. A lack of awareness of how this manifests in...
read more

How Individualism and Collectivism Manifest in Child Rearing Practices

Pediatricians providing anticipatory guidance to parents from diverse cultural backgrounds need to understand the different value systems operating in individualistic and collectivist societies. Questions about child behavior, development and parenting are central to well-child visits, and pediatricians will encounter a range of parenting styles and beliefs that may be at odds with their...
read more

Culturally-based Attitudes About Healthcare Contribute to Patient “No-Show” Rates

American medical culture is “clocktime” driven, and while time is money for nearly every business in our society, a medical practice lives by its schedule of appointments more than most. While socio-economic challenges clearly contribute to no-show rates for people from all cultures, specific cultural beliefs do further increase the number of appointment no-shows. The steep learning...
read more

How Culture Affects Oral Health Beliefs and Behaviors

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Good oral health contributes significantly to overall good health during a...
read more

The Role of Religion in Providing Culturally Responsive Care

 Skillfulness in cross-cultural communication with patients can be demonstrated by a provider’s comfort with asking key questions so that he or she may discover the broader context in which a patient is operating. This broader context includes the patient’s cultural-religious beliefs which have a tremendous impact on health behavior. Our beliefs about what helps restore us to health can be...
read more

Key Determinants of Heritage Consistency in Cross-Cultural Patient Care

Culturally-responsive providers consistently work to develop awareness of cultural norms, including their own and those of western medical culture. They combine this awareness with an understanding of the dimensions of culture to more easily identify variations in patterns of communication and health beliefs/behaviors of patients. The most responsive providers explore health within the full...
read more

Cultural Barriers to Treatment and Compliance

  Because many health beliefs and behaviors are culturally-based, it follows that when two different cultures come together in a health care setting, a collision of expectations often occurs. Thus, when working with diverse populations in the United States, health practitioners often view their patients’ cultures as a barrier to care. Having very different beliefs about illness causation...
read more