Mental health and transcultural nursing : LUSENET : Transcultural Nursing : One Thread

What are the main issuses when dealing mental health in transcultural nursing; also what are the pitfalls? How do we differentiate between the effects of culture based belief systems and mental health issues?

-- Frank McGovern (, August 06, 2003


Every culture has distinct characteristics that make it different from every other culture. Some differences are quite evident, - language, religion, political organization, etc.- Others can be so subtle that while immigrants may be vaguely aware of them, making adjustments is a complex process. They must adapt to an environment that is alien, give up some aspects of their culture to adapt, while maintaining their ethnic/cultural identity. This new situation can create psychological conflicts and emotional alterations, social and economic stressors created by the adaptation process. It is something that does not fade away in the process of assimilation--rather it becomes more complex. The nurse must recognize the appropriate behaviors and those that deviate from norm and evaluate relativism. We must keep these differences in mind since they can blur the line where or at what point a behavior becomes pathological or is just a cultural acceptable behavior. The importance is that if we do not recognize cultural differences in care, what we consider as necessary or appropriate care for the patient could very well be far out of place, and not understood or accepted by the patient.

-- victor (, October 24, 2004.

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