The Value of a Heritage Assessment for Health Promotion of Families

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The United States is a country of diversity represented by many different cultures. It has been proven that culture has a significant impact on health beliefs and behaviors (Edelman, et al, 2014), therefore it is imperative that health care providers, especially nurses, be culturally competent in their delivery of care. It is not enough to merely be aware of the prominent origins and statistics of different cultures and ethnicities, but rather it is crucial to be inquisitive and focus on the family and individual as practices differ and evolve over time. Rachel Spector developed a Heritage Assessment interview as a useful tool to aid in understanding how strongly an individual or family subscribes to specific cultural traditions and…show more content…
Both her parents were born in this country and English is the primary language. Utilizing the heritage assessment tool, one can deduce that she has a relatively strong identification with traditional heritage. Although she is not in contact with her grandparents, she has a strong base of nuclear family support and asserts that the family will always seek family guidance and support before making critical decisions, including those about health care. Her family mostly utilizes traditional Western remedies rather than natural or herbal remedies, however preventive care is not often sought until an illness or symptoms become more intense. Prayer and religious practice are very important to this family and regarded as crucial for positive health outcomes and recovery. The interviewee asserts that she and her family often seek religious counsel and active Bible reading in times of distress. In this family, traditional foods are often prepared including largely fried foods, potatoes, and minimal vegetables. This correlates with many African-American cooking traditions of overcooking greens and frying foods (Gardner, 2012). According to the interviewee, most members of this family do not actively seek preventive care unless there is a more severe problem. This correlates with other studies regarding health behaviors of this culture. Whether it is due to mistrust or discrimination, African Americans do not always access medical care in a timely, preventive oriented
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