Physical and social characteristics that influence health care decisions in african american

Albert The home environment is critical for maintaining health and well-being among the medically ill and people living with disabilities.

Physical and social characteristics that influence health care decisions in african american

May 16, The following cultural patterns may represent many African Americans, but do not represent all people in a community.

You are here

Families that have immigrated recently from Africa have very different cultures compared to families that have been in the US for many generations.

Get to know your patient and their families on an individual level. Not all patients from diverse populations conform to commonly known culture-specific behaviors, beliefs, and actions.

Physical and social characteristics that influence health care decisions in african american

Participation in cultural practices is a more useful indicator of health beliefs and behaviors than assumptions made about group affiliation. When applying this definition, it should become obvious that skin color is not the best indicator; people of African descent can have very light complexions.

Many are of combined heritages. It is particularly important not to generalize about the African American experience when meeting with patients and families.

Seeing the individual in each encounter is, as always, most important. For African Americans, women more than men tend to remain unmarried, and more women have been educated at the college level.

Respect for Elders In general, the older generation is more conservative, may have a more traditional view of gender roles, and may shun interracial dating and marriage. Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren. Institutionalization of elders has historically been avoided, with sons and daughters taking on the family caretaker role.

For most African Americans and others residing in low-income neighborhoods, the abundance of fast food chains fast food companies have specifically targeted African American communities as a growing market for their productshigh-priced food marts, and a lack of access to healthy affordable foods contributes to the prevalence of obesity and chronic illness.

Similarly, lack of transportation can be a pressing problem for low-income families, something middle class Americans of all ethnic groups are spared. If you have to take a bus to do real grocery shopping, it is more likely you will rely on the corner for convenience food. Obesity, especially in children, is an enormous problem across America.

Determinants of Health | Healthy People

National programs to improve diet quality and the overall health, especially among African Americans and other minority groups, have been initiated. A Celebration of Healthy Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Religion African Americans often have strong religious affiliations, especially with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. However, many follow Islam. Maintaining good health is often correlated with good religious practice.

Many churches maintain a health ministry through which congregations and parish nurses support good health with flu shots, blood pressure checks, and health education.


Often times, the answer to this question among African Americans will be church. Older African Americans may be suspicious of clinicians, because of experiences of past generations of African Americans with health care.

Even African American parents today have heard about the Tuskegee experiments on African Americans, so they may be a little reserved or suspicious until it is apparent that their health care provider is friendly, wants to listen, and is interested in them.

There may be reluctance to share personal or family issues, so building a trusting relationship is absolutely crucial. Child Rearing African Americans describe their approach to child rearing as being less permissive than Americans of European descent. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents be encouraged to develop methods other than spanking for managing undesirable behavior in their children.

This does not mean to suggest that abuse is considered acceptable among African Americans. Culture must be taken into account in childrearing. Generally speaking, in the African American experience, spirituality is a fundamental part of how many people process and reconcile the experience of death.

African Americans tend to believe in the sanctity of life and rely on a strong sense of community and family at times of loss. Many African Americans have a holistic view of death and dying so that birth and death are understood to be part of a cycle or continuum.

Cremation is generally avoided in this community and organ donation may be viewed by some as a desecration of the body. So much emphasis is placed on the physical care of the dying that spirituality is often overlooked, and health care providers do not always recognize that this should be an integral part of the continuum of care.

In hospital settings, one way to accomplish this is to offer the support of the hospital chaplain. Efforts to reduce health disparities among African Americans must be holistic, addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of individuals and families.

Also important is making connections with community members and recognizing conditions in the community. Again, get to know your patients on an individual level. Generalizations in this material may not apply to your patients.At the level of the family and social relations, the challenge is potential disruption of family relations and reconciling the demands of home care with the needs of other family members.

At the level of the community, the challenge is the availability of home health care providers for a neighborhood. Suggested Citation:"11 Impact of Cultural, Social, and Community Environments on Home Care--Steven M. Albert." National Research Council. The Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care: Workshop Summary.

Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: / Social policy affects the education system itself but, in addition, individuals with low educational attainment and fewer resources are more vulnerable to social policy decisions that affect access to health care, eligibility for aid, and support services.

Health Care for African American Patients/Families | Dimensions of Culture

As can be seen, each ethnic group brings its own perspectives and values to the health care system, and many health care beliefs and health practices differ from . Researchers who sent matching fictitious resumes with white and African American names for job openings in Chicago and Boston found that a.

applicants with both types of names were equally likely to be called for interviews only when the jobs posted were in human or social services fields. In response, there has been growing emphasis on preconception care (defined as a set of interventions that aim to identify and modify biomedical, behavioral, and social risks to a woman's health or pregnancy outcome through prevention and management).

How culture influences health beliefs