Cultural views on Health
All groups of people face issues in adapting to their environment. Humans adapt to varying environments by developing cultural solutions to meet the needs for survival. Indeed, culture is a universal experience, but no two cultures are exactly alike. Cultural patterns are learned, and it is important for health care providers to note that members of a particular group may not share identical cultural experiences.
Health tradition is predicated on the concept of holistic health and describes what people do from a traditional perspective to maintain, protect, and restore health. Imagine health as a complex, interrelated, threefold phenomenon, that is, the balance of all aspects of the person – the body, mind, and spirit. These aspects are in constant flux and change over time, yet each is completely related to the others and also related to the context of the person – his culture.
There is no single definition of culture, and all too often definitions tend to omit salient aspects of culture or to be too general to have any real meaning. One of the most common definition of the term is the combination of the nonphysical traits, such as values, beliefs, attitudes, and customs, that are shared by a group of people and passed from one generation to the next (Spector, 2000). In a more pragmatic sense, the diversity that occurs between cultural groups creates a difference on how health is perceived; how health care information is received; how rights and protections are exercised; what is considered to be a health problem, and how symptoms and concerns about the health problem are expressed.
One component that affects health care is religion. Although the word has many definitions, religion may be considered a system of beliefs, practices, and ethical values about divine or superhuman power or powers worshipped as the creator (s) and ruler(s) of the universe. The practice of religion is revealed in numerous cults, sects,...