3 years ago

Impact of Culture on Health Outcomes

Kagawa-Singer, Marjorie
The diagnosis of cancer creates anticipatory grief and fear for the patient and the family, and the x cancer care experience is fraught with physical, emotional and spiritual challenges. The palliative care literature in Europe and North American is rapidly growing, but such literature is sparse in other parts of the world. Translating the findings from the West however, may be problematic in non-Western, and particularly, non-Christian cultures, for many of the assumptions that underlie the approach to suffering and death in the West are culturally based in the values and beliefs of western European society. Therefore this paper provides a means to explore how such translation across cultures might occur by: (1) providing a definition of culture so that the context for the subsequent discussion is framed, (2) describing how culture impacts the cancer experience, (3) how culture affects communication to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients and families. The paper closes with 8 recommended steps to improve communication cross-culturally to provide effective quality palliative care for patients and families from diverse backgrounds.
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