When we speak of culture and beliefs, often we are referring to the beliefs and cultural practices that are shared by the medical profession and cultural community at large. They are beliefs and practices that impact and are influenced by the beliefs of the patient. These beliefs can be informed or motivated by personal experiences and beliefs from family members, religion, community groups and other sources. They can also be affected and shaped by the environment and situations, a patient is exposed to.
There is an emerging body of work that critically examines how cultural beliefs in healthcare are influencing and resulting in negative outcomes for patients hungary top. It is described as a process of social construction and it addresses how these beliefs shape and determine our view of the world, individual and social behavior, health, and knowledge. This article will focus on one such example – the impact of anti-racism and white supremacy beliefs on the treatment of patients with cerebral palsy and autism. In addition to this, I will examine the role of socio-cultural beliefs in the care of infants, mentally retarded children, and developmentally disabled adults.
Cultural Beliefs in Healthcare
An initial study published in 2021 by David Houghton and David Horwitz showed that African American healthcare professionals viewed autism and cerebral palsy as a “white problem”. In contrast, they believed that this was caused by an over-focused cultural theory of whiteness. According to this view, healthcare practitioners believe that people of color should “treat us like people” and not with stereotypical traits.
This was then reflected in their beliefs about healthcare practice, which included the fact that Afro Africans were less capable of dealing with cerebral palsy than Caucasians. Furthermore, they felt that the impact of these cultural beliefs was negative in that it prevented them from providing higher quality care to patients and limiting their opportunities to participate in meaningful work.
The study, which was published by David Houghton and David Horwitz used a qualitative method to investigate the beliefs of five multicultural African American healthcare practitioners who were recruited through advertisements placed by local hospitals.
The study focused on the beliefs regarding the treatment of a child with autism and related disorders. It found that the main difference between the physicians’ explanations and the results was that cultural beliefs appeared to be stronger than socio-cultural beliefs. The two types of beliefs also differed when it came to the decision to administer psychostimulant drugs to a patient with suspected antipsychotic drug-related tendencies. These differences were significant according to the research.
According to the study, this indicates that when healthcare professionals fail to integrate cultural competency in the assessment and treatment of a patient, the results are often biased. Healthcare providers need to adopt a multi-pronged approach to enhance the care a patient receives.
However, the findings of the study show that many professionals still rely on the “culture-specific” belief systems when making judgments about a patient. The result is that while some healthcare practitioners may see patients as capable of handling social skills and communication therapy, others may see them as having the limited ability.
The study found that the main challenge to integrating cultural competency in the assessment and treatment of individuals with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and similar developmental disabilities was the lack of resources available for evaluating cultural cognition. There was no instrument in use at the time that would allow for standardized testing of socialization skills, emotions, language, or interaction processes.
This led to a series of sacrifices being made in terms of the treatment of individuals with autism. The sacrifice of socialization often meant that the parents of autistic children received less care and time. The Sacrificial Basket theory suggests that in order to maximize the beneficial results from therapeutic interventions for these children, agencies should not make any sacrifices in the process of finding the appropriate intervention for a patient.