The Role of Culture in Health Literacy and Chronic Disease Screening and Management

Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0030, USA.
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (Impact Factor: 1.16). 05/2008; 11(6):460-7. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-008-9135-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cultural and language differences and socioeconomic status interact with and contribute to low health literacy, defined as the inability to understand or act on medical/therapeutic instructions. Health literacy is increasingly recognized as an important factor in patient compliance, cancer screening utilization, and chronic disease outcomes. Commendable efforts have been initiated by the American Medical Association and other organizations to address low health literacy among patients. Less work has been done, however, to place health literacy in the broader context of socioeconomic and cultural differences among patients and providers that hinder communication and compliance. This review examines cultural influences on health literacy, cancer screening and chronic disease outcomes. We argue that cultural beliefs around health and illness contribute to an individual's ability to understand and act on a health care provider's instructions. This paper proposes key aspects of the intersection between health literacy and culturally varying beliefs about health which merit further exploration.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This chapter explores the factors that contribute to the disclosure and communication experiences of HIV-negative gay men with one or more autoimmune diseases.
    New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 06/2014; 2014(142). DOI:10.1002/ace.20096
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the context of the project "Clinical and social evaluation of medical practices in the treatment of infectious diseases in pediatrics for children of vulnerable population" carried out in 2013 by a multidisciplinary team at the National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty (NIHMP) in Rome, a study in medical anthropology on the incorporation of illnesses that mothers feel they transmit to their children through breastfeeding was conducted. The results of the anthropological study, that targeted 34 children and adolescents from the age of 3 to the age of 17, all immigrants from Latin America residing in Italy, show that some forms of suffering in minors are described by women as being connected to factors such as susto ("fright"), coraje, muina, enojo ("anger") and mal de ojo ("evil eye"), and are in relation to a specific cultural frame. It is clear that barriers that prevent the access to the healthcare system must be removed, barriers that are accentuated by linguistic and cultural incomprehension, through adequate multidisciplinary healthcare settings such as the one we are presenting, composed of a medical doctor, an anthropologist and a cultural mediator.
    Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 08/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10903-014-0085-9 · 1.16 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this overview, we look back at the research articles that have been published about health communication in Asia over the past 14 years. Based on a sample of manuscripts published in international journals, we assess and discuss general trends in health communication research across different regions in Asia. In particular, we examine the theoretical and methodological approaches, as well as the types of diseases that received most attention from health communication researchers.
    Asian Journal of Communication 03/2015; 25(1):1-13. DOI:10.1080/01292986.2015.1009265 · 0.41 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 1, 2014