Module 3 Discussion: Diveristy

Module 3 Discussion: Diveristy

Discuss the following:

  1. Describe health and illness practices that may augment problems associated with the treatment of hypertension for Chinese-American clients.
  2. Describe the locus-of-control variable that some Filipino Americans have that may influence health-seeking behavior.
  3. Describe the importance of folk medicine and folk healers to Vietnamese Americans.

Health and Illness Practices in Chinese-American Clients with Hypertension

Chinese-Americans often adhere to cultural beliefs and practices that can influence their health outcomes, especially in managing conditions like hypertension:

  • Dietary Habits: Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes the balance of yin and yang, and this extends to dietary choices. Some Chinese-Americans may prefer herbal remedies or traditional foods believed to have health benefits. However, these dietary choices may not align with modern medical recommendations for managing hypertension (such as low-sodium diets).
  • Use of Herbal Remedies: Chinese-Americans may use herbal supplements or teas as part of their health regimen. While some herbs may have beneficial effects on health, others could interact with prescribed medications for hypertension, potentially causing complications or reducing the effectiveness of treatment.
  • Reluctance to Western Medicine: There might be a preference for traditional Chinese medicine over Western medical interventions due to cultural beliefs or mistrust of Western healthcare systems. This can lead to delays in seeking medical care or non-adherence to prescribed treatments.
  • Family and Social Support: Family plays a significant role in Chinese culture, influencing health decisions. Family members may provide advice or pressure regarding treatment choices, affecting adherence to hypertension management plans.

Locus-of-Control Variable in Filipino Americans Influencing Health-Seeking Behavior

Locus of control refers to the extent to which individuals believe they can control events affecting them. In the context of Filipino Americans and health-seeking behavior:

  • External Locus of Control: Many Filipino Americans may have a strong external locus of control, believing that their health outcomes are determined by fate, luck, or powerful others (such as healthcare professionals). This belief can influence their health-seeking behaviors:
    • Trust in Healthcare Providers: They may defer decision-making to healthcare professionals and follow medical advice closely, seeking regular check-ups and adhering to prescribed treatments for hypertension.
    • Reliance on Social Networks: Filipino culture places importance on familial and community support. Health decisions may be influenced by advice from family members, friends, or community leaders, reinforcing the external locus of control.
  • Internal Locus of Control: However, some Filipino Americans may also exhibit an internal locus of control, believing they have control over their health outcomes through personal actions and choices. This subgroup might actively seek out information, engage in preventive health measures, and take a proactive role in managing hypertension.

Importance of Folk Medicine and Folk Healers to Vietnamese Americans

Folk medicine and folk healers hold significant importance in Vietnamese-American communities, particularly in the context of health and wellness:

  • Cultural Beliefs: Vietnamese culture places value on holistic health practices that integrate physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Folk medicine, which includes herbal remedies, acupuncture, and traditional healing practices, is viewed as a natural and culturally acceptable approach to health.
  • Accessibility and Affordability: Folk healers are often more accessible than mainstream healthcare providers, both geographically and financially. Vietnamese Americans may prefer folk healers due to lower costs, cultural familiarity, and a belief in the efficacy of traditional treatments for ailments including hypertension.
  • Spiritual and Emotional Support: Folk healers not only provide physical remedies but also offer emotional and spiritual guidance. They may address underlying emotional or psychological factors contributing to illness, which is particularly valued in Vietnamese-American communities where mental health stigma may exist.
  • Integration with Western Medicine: Many Vietnamese Americans utilize both folk medicine and Western medicine concurrently. They may see Western medicine for diagnosis and acute conditions while turning to folk healers for chronic ailments like hypertension, seeking a balanced approach to health management.