Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness / Edition 7

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The seventh edition of this well-respected book continues to promote an awareness of the dimensions and complexities involved in caring for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Completely revised and updated, it examines the differences existing within North America by probing the health care system and consumers, and examples of traditional health beliefs and practices among selected populations. An emphasis on the influences of recent social, political, and demographic changes helps to explore the issues and perceptions of health and illness today. An essential for any health-care professional, this book sets the standard for cultural perspectives.


  • Pocket Guide to Assessment and Health Tradition available online for downloading
  • Companion Website with activities, test questions, and more
  • New Research on Culture feature depicting recent studies related to cultural competence
  • New photographs displaying examples and icons of various cultures
  • New learning outcomes at the beginning of every chapter
  • Expanded content on the influence of spirituality and religion on health in cultural contexts
  • Updated chapter on the health care delivery system including discussions of barriers and alternatives
  • Demographic background discussion of each of the U.S. Census Bureau's categories of the population for a statistical overview of the diversity of patient populations

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Written by a nurse, primarily for nurses, summarizes issues of provider self-awareness and delivery and acceptance of health care, and traditional views of health and illness in the context of various American ethnic groups. The bibliographies for each section are extensive. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780135035894
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/29/2008
  • Series: Pearson Custom for Nursing Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Rachel E. Spector has been a student of culturally diverse HEALTH and ILLNESS beliefs and practices for 35 years and has researched and taught courses on culture and HEALTH care for the same time span. Dr. Spector has had the opportunity to work in many different communities, including the American Indian and Hispanic communities in Boston, Massachusetts. Her studies have taken her to many places: most of the United States, Canada, and Mexico; several European countries, including Denmark, England, Finland, Iceland, Italy, France, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland; Israel and Pakistan; and Australia and New Zealand. She was fortunate enough to collect traditional amulets and remedies from many of these diverse communities and to meet practitioners of traditional HEALTH care in several places. She was instrumental in the creation and presentation of the exhibit “Immigrant HEALTH Traditions” at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, May 1994 through January 1995. She and has exhibited HEALTH-related objects in several other settings. Recently, she served as a Colaboradora Honorifica (Honorary Collaborator) in the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain, and Tamulipus, Mexico. In 2006, she was a Lady Davis Fellow in the Henrietta Zold-Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing in Jerusalem, Israel. This text was translated into Spanish by Maria Munoz and published in Madrid by Prentice Hall as Las Culturas de la SALUD in 2003. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Scholar in Transcultural Nursing Society. The Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, the state organization of the American Nurses’ Association, honored her as a “Living Legend” in 2007. In 2008 she was recognized by the American Nurses’ Association for her work in Human Rights.

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Table of Contents





C HAPTER 1 Cultural Heritage and History

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in CULTURALCARE

Heritage Consistency

Acculturation Themes

Ethnocultural Life Trajectories

Commingling Variables

Cultural Conflict

Cultural Phenomena Affecting Health

C HAPTER 2 Diversity

Census 2000



C HAPTER 3 Health and Illness




C HAPTER 4 Health Traditions


HEALTH Traditions Model

HEALTH Protection

Health/HEALTH Care Choices

Folk Medicine

Health/HEALTH Care Philosophies

C HAPTER 5 Healing Traditions


Ancient Forms of HEALING

Religion and HEALING

HEALING and Today’s Beliefs

Ancient Rituals Related to the Life Cycle

C HAPTER 6 Familial Health Traditions

Familial Health/HEALTH Traditions

Consciousness Raising

C HAPTER 7 Health Care Delivery and Issues

The Health Care Provider’s Culture

Health Care Costs

Trends in Development of the Health Care System

Common Problems in Health Care Delivery

Pathways to Health Services

Barriers to Health Care

Medicine as an Institution of Social Control


C HAPTER 8 H EALTH and I LLNESS in the American Indian and Alaska Native Population


Traditional Definitions of H EALTH and I LLNESS

Traditional Methods of HEALING

Current Health Care Problems

The Indian Health Service

C HAPTER 9 H EALTH and I LLNESS in the Asian Populations


Traditional Definitions of H EALTH and I LLNESS

Traditional Methods of HEALTH Maintenance and Protection

Traditional Methods of HEALTH Restoration

Current Health Problems

C HAPTER 10 H EALTH and I LLNESS in the Black Population


Traditional Definitions of H EALTH and I LLNESS

Traditional Methods of HEALTH Maintenance and Protection

Traditional Methods of HEALTH Restoration

Current Health Problems

C HAPTER 11 H EALTH and I LLNESS in the Hispanic Populations



Puerto Ricans

C HAPTER 12 H EALTH and I LLNESS in the White Populations


German Americans

Italian Americans

Polish Americans


A PPENDIX A Selected Key Terms Related to Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness

A PPENDIX B Calendar: Religious Holidays That Change Dates

A PPENDIX C Suggested Course Outline

A PPENDIX D Suggested Course Activity–Urban Hiking

A PPENDIX E Heritage Assessment Tool


A PPENDIX G Data Resources



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