Cultural Factors Affecting Health and Health Care

Cultural Factors Affecting Health and Health Care 150 150 Tony Guo

Cultural Factors Affecting Health and Health Care

Folk healers and traditions

Folk medicine and traditions (cultural home remedies or treatment practices) are forms of prevention and treatment that are culturally based and traditionally rely on oral transmission of healing techniques from one generation to the next

Spirituality and religion

Relates to the soul or spirit more than to the body, and it may provide hope and strength or an individual during an illness.

Religion is based on beliefs about life, death, good, and evil

Cross-cultural communication



gestures, body movements, posture, facial expressions, and personal dress in some cultures


It is important to understand the meaning of silence for different cultural groups

Family Roles and Relationships

Family roles differ from one culture to another

It is important for the nurse to determine who should be involved in communication and decision making related to health care

Some cultural differences relate to expectations of family members in providing care. In some cultures, family members expect to provide care for the patient even in the hospital.


Physical contact with patients conveys various meanings depending on the culture

Food and nutrition

An important part of cultural practices is food, including both the foods that are eaten and rituals and practices associated with food. Muslims fast during the daytime during the Islamic month of Ramadan, and this may affect when and how medications are taken.

Patients may be asked to make major changes in their diets because of health problems, or alternatively food may be used to cope with life changes such as homesickness.


Migration is driven by a number of conditions, such as overcrowding, natural disasters, geopolitical conflict, persecution, and economic forces. These reasons has led to a rich diversity of cultures exists in many communities and countries today

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