J Transcult Nurs. 1995 Summer; 7(1): 3-14.
Cultural context, health and health care decision making. 1994.
Decisions about health promotion and illness prevention occur within a cultural context that is influenced by the contemporary context of community and family in addition to the ethnohistorical and language contexts, worldview and sociocultural factors of the particular culture and the available folk and professional health care resources. Using information about the health and care beliefs and values and health care decision making process in negotiating culturally congruent nursing and health care interventions is imperative, especially in a world with limited health care resources and an increasing demand for recognition of cultural diversity. This article uses data on health and health care decision-making from an ethnonursing study of the Old Order Amish to demonstrate the role of cultural context in health care practices and decision making. Leininger's cultural care theory and Hall's conceptualization of high context culture were used to investigate these phenomena. High context features of the Old Order Amish culture are used to explain how Amish are actively involved in decisions and actions taken to promote health and prevent and treat illness using a broad array of folk, alternative and professional services simultaneously. As nurses learn to involve clients in decisions and actions using the guiding principles of cultural care preservation, accommodation and repatterning they will provide culturally congruent care for Amish and other culture-specific groups.