The following scenarios are presented to offer functional
activities in learning to find information within
Diversity, Healing, and Health Care. There is a brief
scenario for each content areas.
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1 for Greetings and
introductions: You know that your
patient will improve her medication and/or exercise
regime if she has support from her family. You are
looking for information about introducing ideas to the
family, and negotiating an improvement in the follow
through of your patient's health regime. Check the
Greetings and Introduction section for differences in
negotiating health care needs with patients and families.
Scenario 2 for Religions: Other
health care providers have told you that your patient has
some specific eating habits that may effect nutrition,
and impact other health care issues. The person providing
the information thinks it may have something to do with
the patient's religious beliefs, but has no further
information. You will need to discuss the problems that
nutrition is causing with the patient and family. Check
the Religions section to find information about the
connection between dietary and religious beliefs.
Scenario 3 for Cohort life
events: You suspect that some life events may be
affecting your 80-year-old patient related to cooperation
with other health care workers. Check the Cohort Life
Events section for information that will help you explain
this to the other health care workers.
- Use the banner at the
top of this
page to go to specific
Explanations of groupings and headings in Greetings,
Religions, and Cohort Life Events.
describes the most common language or languages of that
describes the most common
religions of that cultural group, and whether there is a
nationally recognized or state religion.
describes the basis and common negotiation styles or unit
of decision making of that culture.
describes expectations and behaviors common when people
of that culture meet or are introduced to each other, use
of first and last names, nicknames, and common body
language when greeting others.
describes the customary use of time and punctuality.
Industrial cultures tend to be much more aware of the use
of clock time. Other cultures use different indicators
for appropriately meeting and following time
describes common gestures
and their meanings. Some common U.S. gestures are
considered vulgar in other cultures. Ways to beckon,
wave, or call out to people vary, as do the responses
when the goal is to initiate interaction with your
Clinicians and patients who
contributed to this information often had items of
importance that didn't fit other headings. Those items
are included here. As this program develops, other
categories may be developed based on common contributions
to the 'miscellaneous' category.
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beliefs: This is not an
attempt to explain philosophies or dogmas, but only to
very briefly provide background which will contribute to
the clinician's understanding of a religious
- Beliefs about illness
and disease: describes
common or general beliefs within a religion related to
the origins and causes of disease; who gets sick and why
- Beliefs about
disability: describes how
disability is viewed within the religion. Some religions
believe that suffering is inevitable, and part of living;
others believe that it is related to evil of the person
or from outside, or can be cured through behavior changes
of the person or from outside.
- Beliefs about healing
practices: describes common
religious healing practices such as prayer, meditation,
penance or sacrifice.
- Beliefs related to
food and health: describes
how food, fasting, and curing properties are viewed by
- Beliefs related to
death and dying: describes
important end of life beliefs that should be observed by
clinicians treating frail elders or terminally ill
- Holy days:
describes the religious holy
days that relate to some of the rituals of healing and
use of food.
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Cohorts: This section is
based on a study by faculty at the Stanford Geriatric
Education Center, and provides a list of historical
events based on ethnic experiences that are common to
many ethnic elders within the groups described. This
information comes from Cohort Analysis as a tool in
ethnogeriatrics: Historical profiles of elders from eight
ethnic populations in the United States, by Gwen Yeo,
Nancy Hikoyeda, Melen McBride, Soo-Young Chin, Mary
Edmonds, and Levanne Hendrix (1999); Stanford Geriatric
Education Center working paper series, number 12. This
paper and other ethnogeriatric papers are available for
purchase from the Stanford
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Healing and Health Care is designed to provide easy
access to diversity information focused on content that
may be helpful to clinicians and other healthcare. The
information in this web-based program is generalizations.
It would be rare to find an individual who fit all the
content in a specific area.
intended as a starting point, showing common trends or
patterns of beliefs within groups of people. But groups
do not have the same qualities as each individual in the
group. Individuals accept and reject components that are
trends to the group. Therefore, these are generalizations
- starting points in better understanding related to the
cultural beliefs about an individual patient.
information in this program is not intended to be viewed
Stereotypes are an end of thought processes, an attempt
to fit individuals into small boxes of behaviors and
pertain to negative attitudes that focus on ethnocentric
beliefs. Stereotyping is usually a product of
ethnocentrism: A focus
on one's own culture to the exclusion of sensitivity to
other cultures. "Belief that one's own cultural view is
the only correct view" (Yeo, 1999, p. 3). Yeo also
provides useful definitions of the following
competence: This definition
can be generalized to all age groups. This quote is taken
from the ethnogeriatric writings of Dr. Gwen Yeo. "
Effective care for older patients from diverse cultural
backgrounds, including at least the demonstrated
integration of: 1) population-specific health-related
cultural values; 2) disease incidence, prevalence or
mortality rates; and 3) population-specific treatment
outcomes" (Yeo, p. 3).
"The way of life of a
population or part of a population, including the sharing
of knowledge, beliefs, experiences, behaviors, language,
and skills among a given group. Used most often with
reference to different societies or national origins;
subcultures can also reflect differences by geographic
region or other subgroups within a larger society" (Yeo,
differences based on culture, but is also sometimes
popularly used to denote racial or religious differences"
(Yeo, p. 2).
"Implies a category based on physical or biological
characteristics, now considered by many anthropologists
to be an obsolete concept because of difficulty
classifying populations with widespread genetic
diversity" (Yeo, p.2).
- References to the work of Dr.
Gwen Yeo are taken from G. Yeo (Ed.)(1999) Core
curriculum in ethnogeriatrics. Palo Alto, CA:
Stanford Geriatric Education Center. Information on
ordering this paper is available at SGEC