The Importance Of Cross Cultural Barriers In Health

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Sally, a 13 year old, female child, who comes from a cultural background that embraces, higher body mass is a sign of wealth, is obese according to her medical practitioner in Australia. Rest of the family members of Sally are also over weight. It is important to treat Sally on her condition as obesity leads to other health complications as well as decreasing the quality of life and reducing the life expectancy. It is vital for the parents to be educated, what are the healthy weight ranges for children and themselves , in order to increase the quality of life, and to slowly deviating them from whatever false beliefs they might have due to the cultural backgrounds and change their daily habits when it comes to dietary intake and exercise. With …show more content…
However considering the fact that they are from a culture that recognizes obesity as a sign of wealth, certain barriers will have to be overcome. Several of the common cross cultural barriers in health promotion are language barrier, low literacy, ethnic and cultural beliefs and attitudes and retention of information(Taylor et al., 2013). Some health providers seem to show a difference in treatment of patients from other ethnic groups, this negative attitude towards a person due to their race creates a racial prejudice. This bias influences health promotion negatively. Due to previously perceived discrimination clients tend to refuse or delay seeking medical attention(Anderson et al.). Patients from other cultures also face barriers when communicating with health providers due to limitations in the language ability, as well as unfamiliarity of health professionals in regards to the patients cultural beliefs. For example western trained clinicians are unaware of the beliefs of Chinese and Vietnamese migrants in regards to cause of illness, which is that yin and yang (hot and cold forces) imbalance causes disease(Ngo‐Metzger et al., 2003). Due to this unfamiliarity patients tend to withhold information from the health care providers. Several other barriers in weight management would be lack of patient interest, Lack of knowledge and lack of educational material(Timmerman et …show more content…
Educating Sally’s parents on obesity, risk factors and making healthy lifestyle choices in order to overcome obesity is quite vital in this scenario. At the same time it should be kept in mind not to offend or disrespect their culture in anyway and it Is important to develop a culturally appropriate weight loss regime(James et al.) Encouraging a balanced diet and plenty of physical exercises are the key factors for weight management. The focus on dietary plan should be tailored for each individual, and it should not have drastic changes to start off with, but gradually the changes should occur over time. These changes need to be negotiated and agreed upon with the family, before prescribing the diet plan (Mulrooney,

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