Some culture originates from the area of the world that the person is from. This is called geographic culture. There are many geographic cultures that greatly influence a patient’s views on diet and medical care.
The following are some types of geographic cultures. They are listed here to give you a better idea of the variety within these cultures and not to provide specific information about an individual patient or family.
Keep in mind that these are very general and will not apply to all patients.
Eastern Asian and Pacific Islanders
Eastern Asian and Pacific Islanders contain many different ethnic groups. These groups include but are not limited to, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Indonesian, Filipino and Samoan people.
Dietary habits are varied, based on the culture, and there are often special diets to be taken into consideration during illness. Fish, fruits, vegetables, and rice are the primary diet, along with small amounts of chicken, pork or beef. In most of these cultures, a meal is almost like a ceremony and should not be interrupted.
There are several religions practiced, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Shintoism (Japan), and Roman Catholic. Medicinal herbs and folk remedies and rituals are commonly used to prevent or treat illness.
Most believe that good health is a result of harmony and may use health healers and spiritual healers before seeking standard medical care. The drawing of blood is especially upsetting to many.
There is a tendency to hide outward signs of pain, so it may be difficult to determine how much pain a patient is having. Many believe in some type of reincarnation.
Haitian, Puerto Rican, Cuban
Generally, diet is very important for maintaining good health for people of Haitian, Puerto Rican or Cuban culture. Many believe foods have “hot/cold” properties and they must be in harmony. Some believe illness is supernatural and caused by evil spirits or enemies of deceased relatives. They may wear amulets to protect against evil spirits. Most consult folk healers or spiritualists before seeking standard medical care. Use of herbs and rituals for healing is common. Many are suspicious and fearful of hospitals. Cuban-Americans are most likely to use the standard medical practices in combination with religious or home remedies.