Clin Geriatr Med. 1995 Feb; 11(1): 39-52.
Hispanic-American elders. Implications for health-care providers.
Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, New Rochelle Hospital Medical Center, New York, USA.
American health-care practitioners are faced with a rapidly growing, geriatric, Hispanic-American population. This group shares certain cultural links but is largely heterogeneous and comprised of many subgroups, the largest of which are Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban Americans. Health-care practitioners face significant socioeconomic, cultural, and language barriers in providing care to these patients. An understanding of Hispanic-American social dynamics, an understanding of culture-bound syndromes, and efforts to successfully overcome language barriers are essential to optimal patient care. Exploration of the ethnic complexity of Hispanic-American subgroups will help to free practitioners from medical and racial stereotypes and allow development of cultural insights that can strengthen and enrich the doctor-patient relationship.