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October 2021

Nursingconnections. 1998 Fall; 11(3): 33-40.

Child care beliefs and practices of Hispanic mothers.

Colucciello ML, Woelfel V.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA.

Even though Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the United States, they face difficulties in accessing the health care system because of perceived health care needs, culture, income, language and lack of health insurance benefits. As a result, children of Hispanic parents suffering from such ailments as viral and bacterial infections, upper respiratory infections and gastroenteritis may not be treated at all or may be treated in the home. It is unclear as to how much a role traditional, cultural practices continue to play in their health care and how long medical treatment may be delayed. The purposes of this exploratory pilot study were to examine the types of cultural health care provided by Mexican-American mothers to their ill children at home, the extent of the child's illness and the time frame involved that determined the mother's need to seek medical attention. The mothers' use of lay healers and/or folk remedies prior to seeking medical attention for their child was also investigated. Implications and recommendations for culturally-relevant and culturally-competent care, and sensitive health education are presented.

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