PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe the influence of culture on various healthcare issues in Hispanic (Mexican, Latino, Chicano and Spanish) patients. DESCRIPTION OF STUDY: This qualitative study with a total of 146 subjects surveyed. The Culture Affecting Healthcare survey was used to elicit answers to open-ended and closed ended questions regarding the perception of quality of care, religion, diet, gender roles, family beliefs, and folk practices on healthcare. RESULTS: Themes that emerged from the questionnaire were the importance of family, comfort level with providers, use of various traditions and practices for healing various aliments, high content of fat in foods, frying as the primary preparation of meals, the idea of full figured women being more attractive and the thought behind displaying emotion and being depressed. Responses suggest that religion, culture, and family contribute significantly to the management of health care by the patient and caregiver. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: When providing care to Hispanic patients, it is imperative to recognize various aspects of culture, behavior, and practice, which may affect their interactions with these patients, management plans and compliance. To improve compliance, healthcare providers should be aware of these differences and manage patients accordingly. When providers are open to various differences in the populations and manipulate their plans accordingly they are closer to providing effective and beneficial healthcare.
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