the-lancet---culture-and-health.pdf

Culture should not be neglected in health and health

Info icon This preview shows pages 24–26. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
outcomes and equity. Culture should not be neglected in health and health-care provision The systematic neglect of culture in health is the single biggest barrier to advancement of the highest attainable standard of health worldwide (availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality). The cultural practices of individuals and groups served should be better understood and acknowledged so that care systems can adjust practices in the interest of promoting wellbeing and reducing waste. At present, the provision of health care and social care is insuffi ciently sensitive to culture and does not adequately account for the norms and values of both those who use care services and those who deliver health care. As of yet, we know little about how patients’ cultures affect their attitudes toward wellbeing, but also how and why particular cultures of health-care delivery develop within hospitals, clinical practices, and other health-care delivery settings. The role of culture in wellbeing should be as high a priority as funded research in clinical medicine. Health-care providers should also acknowledge their own cultural values and consider them as such, and organisations should invest in understanding how their practices and values are cultural. Culture is not something that irrationally limits science, but is the very basis for value systems on which the effectiveness of science depends. Culture should become central to care practices Competence in culture is not a secondary aspect of health promotion and medical treatment, but a key feature of human wellbeing. Sensitisation to the norms and values of those who use care services is essential if professionals are to improve adherence. Health-care providers cannot usefully present information to patients if patients do not understand the merits of adherence to treatment within their existing values and
Image of page 24

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Lancet Commissions Vol 384 November 1, 2014 1631 concerns. Although person-centred care has been embraced by WHO in its Health 2020 policy framework, the question of how its mainly biomedical focus will be reshaped is unclear. Implementation of a medical humanities approach across WHO will need serious examination of its own prejudices and prestige hier- archies because these very hierarchies might be largely responsible for its longstanding diffi dence to the role of culture in health. Cultures of health-care providers (norms, values, practices, and prestige hierarchies) need to change if professionals are to retain their influence on the practice of health care—from a narrow focus on immediate working environments to a broad understanding of the culture of biomedicine and its role in improving or limiting population health. Because culture affects clinical relationships and outcomes, patients should also be given the educational resources and information to understand how to adjust their own behaviours to improve health and wellbeing.
Image of page 25
Image of page 26
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern