Addressing Disparities In Mental Health Care For Latinos

Addressing disparities in mental health care for Latinos is of particular importance given their considerable population growth in the United States. The 2010 US Census reports: Latino Americans comprise the largest ethnic/racial minority group in the United States (50.5 million or 16.3%). Latinos are also the largest ethnic minority group of children (11.6 million) in the United States,1...
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Conversations with Hispanic Parents About Flu Shots

According to the CDC 2011-2012 National Immunization Survey (NIS) report on flu vaccine coverage, *Hispanic adults 18 and older have the lowest influenza vaccination rates in the United States. Only 29.4% of Hispanic adults got a flu shot last year compared to 47.6% of white non-Hispanic adults. Perhaps surprisingly, Hispanic children 6 months to 17 years have the highest rates of flu...
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Cultural Values of Latino Patients and Families

Failure to understand and respond appropriately to the normative cultural values of patients can have a variety of adverse clinical consequences: reduced participation in  preventive screenings, delayed immunizations, inaccurate histories, use of harmful remedies, non-compliance, and decreased satisfaction with care to name a few. A primary challenge in working with patients from different...
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The Importance of Familismo

by Janine Young, MD— The importance of immediate and extended family ties are very important to the Latino community—otherwise known as familismo. The mother, father, grandparents, aunts and uncles may come to their children’s doctor visits, and all may have some say in how the child will be cared for. Grandmothers (la abuela), in particular, often play a strong role in how their...
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Clinical Pediatrics in the Mexican Immigrant Community

by Janine Young, MD www.contemporarypediatrics.com Vol. 26, No. 2— The US continues to be a country of immigrants. As of 2006, roughly 37.5 million immigrants (documented and undocumented) were living in the US, accounting for 12.5% of the total population. Of these, 30% were from Mexico.1 These new immigrant families bring with them their language, culture, and religious beliefs. And they also...
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Folk Illnesses and Remedies in Latino Communities

What is a Folk Illness? Folk illnesses are health beliefs and practices shaped by the cultural conventions of a specific group of people. Folk illnesses (sometimes also referred to as lay health beliefs) have specific causes, preventions, and cures based on wider theories of illness (e.g., humoral, Ayurvedic, biomedical), but may also include local health beliefs and values not related to the...
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