Health Care and Culture, How are They Related?
There are generally three different perceptions of health in the world: there is the magical/religious perception that usually has to do with some sort of checks and balances system between good vs bad energy; the holistic approach, which approaches health care as the connection between body and mind; and then there is of course the bio-medical approach of the western world. While it is so easy in our culture today to say, “well of course health care is a science! The bio-medical approach is the only thing that makes any sense!” It has also become evident that many health complications are not so simply treated with anything more than the prescribed regimen of a prescription. The root of many health complications is not simply scientific, but also behavioral. If the source of a health complication is behavioral, then in order to properly “treat” such a complication, should it not be just as important to understand the source of the behavior as it is to understand the medical implications of the complication? It can be followed, then, that in order to completely treat a condition, a health care practitioner must achieve a certain understanding of cultural differences in the perception of health. Food for thought.
Piqued your interest? There’s more on cultural competence in dental care in this article from Dimensions of Dental Hygiene: http://www.dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/ddhright.aspx?id=13230#.UJKJz8W5N9V