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.
This fifth edition, well-known, cultural work continues to deepen and expand the reader's theory and sense of inquiry. The purpose, as in past editions, is to increase the reader's awareness of the "dimensions and complexities involved as we meet the health and illness needs of patients." Cultural competence is now mandated by the Joint Commission of Hospital Accreditation and the Health Care Financing Administration. The author uses the notion of a quilt as a theme, thereby imaging continuity from chapter to chapter. This book is intended for virtually anyone providing healthcare, but especially nurses and nursing students as we are constantly encountering cultural diversity. The author is successful in this effort. The twelve chapters are divided into three units. In the first the focus is on provider self-awareness, in the second cultural awareness, and in the third selected traditional views of health and illness. One example is Chapter 11, "Health and Illness in Hispanic America." There are eight very valuable appendixes including Suggested Course Outline and Suggested Course Activities. There is an extensive (20 page) bibliography and an impressive directory of alternative healthcare associations. As discussed by the author, the U.S. will continue to receive a significant portion of its population via immigration. Given that prediction, it is imperative that educators and those already in practice focus on initial and ongoing cultural competency. This evolving theory base has become obligatory for humane, ethical, and legal practice. Ongoing cultural shifts and new theory necessitate the new edition.