Items in AFP with MESH term: Medicine, Traditional
Traditions in Healing at the End of Life - Close-ups
Caring for Latino Patients - Article
ABSTRACT: Latinos comprise nearly 16 percent of the U.S. population, and this proportion is anticipated to increase to 30 percent by 2050. Latinos are a diverse ethnic group that includes many different cultures, races, and nationalities. Barriers to care have resulted in striking disparities in quality of health care for these patients. These barriers include language, lack of insurance, different cultural beliefs, and in some cases, illegal immigration status, mistrust, and illiteracy. The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services address these concerns with recommendations for culturally competent care, language services, and organizational support. Latinos have disproportionately higher rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus. Other health problems include stress, neurocysticercosis, and tuberculosis. It is important to explore the use of alternative therapies and belief in traditional folk illnesses, recognizing that health beliefs are dependent on education, socioeconomic status, and degree of acculturation. Many—but not all—folk and herbal treatments can be safely accommodated with conventional therapy. Physicians must be sensitive to Latino cultural values of simpatia (kindness), personalismo (relationship), respeto (respect), and modestia (modesty). The LEARN technique can facilitate cross-cultural interviews. Some cultural barriers may be overcome by using the “teach back” technique to ensure that directions are correctly understood and by creating a welcoming health care environment for Latino patients.