Cross Cultural Health Perspectives

Target Cultural Group: African Americans

Health Problem: Diabetes (High Rates)

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Family History can increase awareness for higher risk; healthy Diet and exercise; diabetes can be prevented or at worst, controlled. Being proactive will net best results. Effective communication between health care providers can improve patient results.  Want to live and spend time with family; value church as support group.
Church and faith
Non compliance with treatment; family may encourage diabetes poor health habits, afraid of syringes, anxiety, not feeling sick means they don’t need medication, family and peer pressure, unsure of what is a healthy diet, freedom to eat as I wish mentality. Lack of knowledge; Concept of diabetes control may be different between people. Ignoring small injures; ignoring signs and symptoms of possible complications; not understanding purpose of medications; Geographical location of health care providers; feel disease controls life; lack of insurance; feelings of guilt; don’t know where to go for proper care.



Positive Perceptions- When and individual is familiar with their family history of diabetes, one can be proactive and dramatically decrease their chances of getting diabetes. They can have a leg up on the prevention by eating healthier and exercising more frequently, all this can be done before it’s to late. The key word here is prevention; Prevention is the best modes of defeating the disease.   By one eating healthy and by exercising on a regular basis, Most African Americans that have diabetes can live almost a complete healthy and normal lifestyle, the important thing one must do is to manage the disease and not let the disease control the individual, This can be done by one being proactive. If one is proactive, one has a much better chance of living a full normal and active life.

Effective communication with a health provider can build a lasting and trusting bond with both, the patient and the physician, if the patient believes in his health care provider; he is most likely to adhere to the treatment plan and will be proactive in his management of the disease.

Existential Perceptions- Perceptions to Diabetes in African Americans could depend on the age of the individual; older African Americans will usually result in the individual turning to friends, family, and church groups, while younger African Americans may lean towards literature and information on the internet.

  Negative Perception- it is estimated that 50% of adolescents with chronic health problems such as diabetes do not comply with care recommendations, and this noncompliance is due to multiple social, economic, environmental, and psychological barriers. Patients with diabetes often have some level of deterioration in self-management and glycemic control due to poor self treatment habits or the improper understanding of what diabetes really is and how one is affected. Its important for the communication factor to be clear between the patient, family, and the physician because the concept of “diabetes control” can have different meaning for patients and physicians, When there is a difference in what one believes, the way the individual looks and feels about one’s self can be affected such as paying attention to small injuries that a person without diabetes would usually ignore or brush off such as a bed soar. Effective communication between the patient and provider has been found to be positively linked with a number of patient outcome variables including satisfaction and self-care behaviors. Study’s found that physicians with better communication skills have more satisfied patients, better patient outcomes, and greater satisfaction with their clinical practice, it has also been found that better communication and patient knowledge was positively linked with a much higher adherence to medical recommendations thus increasing a better medical outcome. Individuals with diabetes may have a perception of diabetes as “inescapable, a form of social inequality or a private hell, and a loss of one’s identity as proud, robust, sexual, independent, and invincible (Liburd, Namageyo-Funa, Jack, & Gregg, 2004). As these individuals began to experience complications from diabetes, they looked for information that would help such as informations or alternative treatments to help manage the disease if the individuals those measures would help preserve their independence and quality of life. They also welcomed from other individuals that had diabetes and were more open to accept support from family and friends in regards to managing the disease.

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