Impacts of Culture and Spirituality on Illness and Health

Impacts of Culture and Spirituality on Illness and Health




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The culture and religion together with beliefs of a given individual or society significantly influence the administration of health care. The different views individuals hold in their cultures dictate the efficiency of treatment administration. Culture itself refers to the pattern of opinions, ideas, customs, and behaviors shared by a given community or society. These norms affect the treatment administering process to a great deal. It is thus essential to understand how the different cultures impact health care. This paper discusses some of the impacts of religion on the health and illness areas.

Acceptance of diagnosis; people in some cultures may fail to accept results of diseases just because they believe that such conditions cannot be part of their society. These include illness like cancer among other ailments. Again, culture may alter acceptance of preventive and health prevention measures (Spector, 2002). Some spiritual groups like the Adventists and the Catholic believers do not accept the administration of precautionary pregnancy measure like the use of condoms, the reliance on old means may result in cases of diseases like AIDS. Some cultures do not to believe in the administration of vaccines which promote health and prevent diseases like Missiles and even rickets.

We have some cultures which have a different perception of death. They assume that penalty should be among the aged but not young and thus young people dying means that other spiritual connections are of concern. It is also hard for some people to believe the cause of disease. Like for instance in Afghanistan, people do not think that young people can get sick and thus find that sickness among the children is as a result of evil spirits. The belief the lives of children in danger as they are not taken to health care centers for medication as a requirement. Perception of pain is another cultural impact on health and illness. Some people believe that stoicism is a norm to them. Culture bias may form the final effect of culture on sickness and health, in some situations where people are biased on the source of origin or look down on some religion it may be changing to offer treatment (Lancellotti, 2008). Cultural bias and discrimination from either the patients or the medical officers may adversely impact the process of therapy.

Basing on cultures, we have different activities to incorporate into the wellness process. Evaluating and documenting how the client needs were met. The tactic involves accessing the client through an interpreter who understands the language the patient uses to handle the client’s needs efficiently (Chu et al., 2012). Feedback collected from the patient is documented for use in future decision making. Again one needs to employ the use of appropriate interpreter to achieve the clients understanding. Interpreters may include people who understand the language used by the doctor and the patient. They will thus facilitate communication bringing into understanding the health requirements of the patient.

Respecting cultural background of the client is essential when it comes to healthcare support. We understand some individuals are victims of cultural biasness, but this should be out of the question when it comes to wellness and healthcare administration. It should be a culture of all people to put down their differences in religion for better results in the wellness and healthcare results. Addressing these activities gives a better image to the healthcare sector.

The impacts of spirituality and cultural beliefs on the healthcare sector are far reaching within the speculated regions of the globe. People have different ways and believe in addressing health issues due to their cultures, but the best solution is acceptance of what the medics offer to us as advice. We need to hold hands together to fight the greater enemy of progress in health care which is cultural bias and discrimination.


Chu, J. P., Huynh, L., & Areán, P. (2012). Cultural adaptation of evidence‐based practice utilizing an iterative stakeholder process and theoretical framework: Problem-solving therapy for Chinese older adults. International journal of geriatric psychiatry27(1), 97-106.

Lancellotti, K. (2008). Culture care theory: A framework for expanding awareness of diversity and racism in nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing24(3), 179-183.

Spector, R. E. (2002). Cultural diversity in health and illness. Journal of Transcultural Nursing13(3), 197-199.

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