Essay on Heritage Assessment Tool: Heritage Sways Health Perception

1708 Words Mar 13th, 2014 7 Pages
Heritage Sways Healthcare Perception
Cynthia K. Martin
Grand Canyon University: NRS 429V Family Centered Health Promotion
November 09, 2013 Cultural beliefs are the foundation of an individual, families, and communities that

persuasively influences the standards by which they reason and behave in every aspect of their

life. Therefore, as healthcare providers, it is imperative that we consider a patient’s cultural

heritage when assessing them from a holistic approach and planning for a desirable healthcare

outcome. Madeliene Leininger brought to the forefront the concept of transcultural nursing

which was founded on “the belief that optimal health for all is an essential cultural value”

(Edelman & Mandle, 2010) and
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This paper will analyze the findings of three different cultural

assessments, American from the south, Hispanic and Asian (East Indian from Goa with

Portuguese influences), when using the Heritage Assessment Tool (Spector, 2000) and open-

ended questions focused on perceptions of health maintenance, health protection, and health


Health Maintenance Perception of Three Different Cultures

The Hispanic family interviewed incorporated cultural influences from Honduras

and El Salvador. When questioning their perceived ability to maintain the health of their

family, they verbalized the need to eat organic fresh foods, bought from local markets or farms.

In Honduras, the dad remembers most of their meat being bought from local farms and the fruit

and vegetables from markets called "mercados" where farmers sold fresh produce in season, and

currently they continue to maintain a similar diet when at all possible. They also talked about the

necessity to maintain regular exercise habits and that here in America it must be planned. “In

Honduras, most people were poor and couldn’t afford cars, so they walked or rode their bikes

everywhere which increases health” (J. Valladares, personal communication, November 6,

2013). The mother was raised in America but conferred with her husband in health maintenance

perception, was raised by these standards, and continues them for her family as they maintain an


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