Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach,


Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese American Culture

Larry Purnell, PhD, RN, FAAN

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese Overview/Heritage ▪ China’s population of over 1.3 billion people is

dispersed over 3.7 million square miles, with cultural values differing according to geographic location as well as other variant cultural characteristics.

▪ Chinese in the United States exceed 1.6 million people with the largest communities in California, New York, Hawaii, and Texas.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Overview/Heritage

▪ A university education is highly valued; however, few have the opportunity to achieve this life goal because of limited enrollment opportunities.

▪ Often, young adults come to Western countries to attend universities seeking more advanced prestigious educations.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Overview/Heritage

▪ Many newer immigrants are professionals from Hong Kong.

▪ Chinese Confucian ideals emphasize the importance family and neighbors and reinforce the idea that all relationships embody power and rule.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Overview/Heritage ▪ Other important values are filial piety, industry,

patriotism, deference to those in hierarchal positions, tolerance of others, loyalty to superiors, respect for rites and social rituals, knowledge, benevolent authority, thrift, patience, courtesy, and respect for tradition.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese Communication ▪ The official language of China is Mandarin (pu

tong hua), spoken by about 70% of the population, but other major, distinct dialects such as Cantonese, Fujianese, Shanghainese, Toishanese, and Hunanese exist.

▪ The dialects are so different that often two groups cannot understand one another verbally.

▪ The written language is the same.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese Communication ▪ Most Chinese people speak in a moderate to

low voice tone and consider Americans to be loud.

▪ When asked whether they understand what was just said, the Chinese invariably answer in the affirmative to avoid loss of face.

▪ The Chinese share information freely once a trusting relationship has developed.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese Communication ▪ Most Chinese maintain a formal distance

with each other as a form of respect. ▪ Many are uncomfortable with face-to-

face communications, especially when there is direct eye contact.

▪ Titles are important to Chinese people.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese Communication ▪ The family name is stated first and then the

given name. ▪ Calling an individual by any name except his/

her family name is impolite. If a person’s family name is Li and the given name is Ruiming, then the proper form of address is Li Ruiming.

▪ Traditional women do not use their husband’s name after they get married.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Copyright © 2013 F.A. Davis Company

Chinese Communication ▪ Many Chinese take an English name as an

additional given name because Chinese names are often difficult for Westerners to pronounce.

▪ Some give permission to use only the English name.

▪ Some switch the order of their names to be the same as those of Westerners with the family name last.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ Traditionally the Chinese family was organized around the male lines.

▪ Most believe that the family is most important and, thus, each family member assumes changes in roles to achieve this harmony.

▪ Children are highly valued because of the Chinese government’s past mandate that each married couple may only have one child.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ Independence is not fostered. The entire family makes decisions for the child even into young adulthood.

▪ Children born in Western countries tend to adopt the Western culture easily.

▪ Adolescents maintain their respect for elders even when they disagree with them.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ Children feel pressure to succeed to help improve the future of the family; thus, most children and adolescents value studying over playing and peer relationships.

▪ Children are taught to curb their expression of feelings because individuals who do not stand out are successful.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ Chinese children in the USA are becoming more outspoken as they read more and watch television and movies from the Western world.

▪ The perception of family is developed through the concept of relationships. Each person is identified in relation to others in the family.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ The individual is not lost, just defined differently from individuals in Western cultures.

▪ Extended families are important.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ Children may live with their grandparents or aunts and uncles so individual family members can obtain a better education or reduce financial burdens.

▪ Teenage pregnancy is not common, but it is increasing among Chinese in America.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ Older people are venerated and viewed as very wise.

▪ Children are expected to care for their parents when self-care becomes a concern; in China, law mandates this.

▪ The Chinese word for privacy has a negative connotation and means something underhanded, secret, and furtive.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Family Roles and Organization

▪ The one subject that is taboo is sex and anything related to sex.

▪ Same-sex relationships are not condoned. ▪ In many provinces, they are illegal and punishable

by death.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Workforce Issues

▪ True equality does not exist in the Chinese mind; if more than one person is in power, then consensus is important.

▪ If the person in power is not present at decision- making meetings, barriers are raised, and any decisions made are negated unless the person in power agrees.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Workforce Issues

▪ Chinese adapt to the culture in the workplace quickly.

▪ They frequently call on other Chinese people to teach them and to discuss how to fit into the new culture more quickly.

▪ Autonomy is limited and is based on functioning for the good of the group.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Workforce Issues

▪ When a situation arises that requires independent decision making, many times the Chinese know what should be done but do not take action until the leader or superior gives permission.

▪ Language may be a barrier for some Chinese. ▪ The Chinese language does not have verbs that

denote tense, as in Western languages.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Biocultural Ecology ▪ Skin color among Chinese is varied. Many have

skin color with pink undertones; some have a yellow tone, and others are very dark.

▪ Hair is generally black and straight, but some have naturally curly hair. Most men do not have much facial or chest hair.

▪ Mongolian spots—dark bluish spots over the lower back and buttocks—are present in about 80 percent of infants.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Biocultural Ecology ▪ Bilirubin levels are usually higher in Chinese

newborns with the highest levels occurring on the fifth or sixth day after birth.

▪ The Rh-negative blood group is rare. ▪ Chinese people generally have an increased

sensitivity to the effects of alcohol

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Biocultural Ecology

▪ Poor metabolism of mephenytoin occurs in 15 to 20 percent of Chinese.

▪ Sensitivity to beta blockers, such as propranolol, is evidenced by a decrease in overall blood levels accompanied by a more profound response.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Biocultural Ecology

▪ Atropine sensitivity is evidenced by an increased heart rate. Increased responses to antidepressants and neuroleptics occur at lower doses.

▪ Analgesics have been found to cause increased gastrointestinal side effects, despite a decreased sensitivity to them.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Biocultural Ecology ▪ Common health problems include lactose

intolerance Thalassemia, hepatitis b, tuberculosis, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese High-Risk Health Behaviors

▪ Smoking is a high-risk behavior for many Chinese men and teenagers.

▪ Most women do not smoke. ▪ The numbers for Chinese women who smoke

are increasing, especially after immigration to the United States.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Nutrition

▪ Food habits are important, and food is offered to guests at any time of the day or night.

▪ Foods served at meals have a specific order with focus on a balance for a healthy body.

▪ The typical diet is difficult to describe because each region in China has its own traditional diet.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Nutrition ▪ Traditional Chinese medicine frequently uses food

and food derivatives to prevent and cure diseases and illnesses and to increase strength in weak and older people.

▪ Peanuts and soybeans are popular. ▪ Common grains include wheat, sorghum, and

maize (a type of corn.) Rice is usually steamed but can be fried with eggs, vegetables, and meats.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Nutrition ▪ Fruits and vegetables may be peeled and eaten

raw. ▪ Vegetables are lightly stir-fried in oil with salt

and spice. ▪ Salt, oil, and oil products are important parts of

the Chinese diet. ▪ Foreign-born and older people may not like ice

in their drinks.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Nutrition

▪ Foods that are considered yin and yang prevent sudden imbalances.

▪ A balanced diet is considered essential for physical and emotional harmony.

▪ Chopsticks should never be stuck in the food upright because that is considered bad luck.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices

▪ Pregnancy is seen as women’s business, although men are beginning to demonstrate an active interest in pregnancy and the welfare of the mother and baby.

▪ Women are very modest and may insist on a female midwife or obstetrician.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices

▪ Pregnant women usually increase meat in their diets because their blood needs to be stronger for the fetus.

▪ Pregnant women may avoid shellfish during the first trimester because it causes allergies.

▪ Some may be unwilling to take iron: they believe that it makes the delivery more difficult.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices

▪ Traditional postpartum care includes 1 month of recovery, with the mother eating foods that decrease the yin (cold) energy.

▪ Many mothers do not expose themselves to the cold air and do not go outside or bathe for the first month postpartum because cold air can enter the body and cause health problems.

▪ Drinking and touching cold water are taboo for women in the postpartum period.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices

▪ Raw fruits and vegetables are avoided because they are considered “cold” foods. They must be cooked and be warm.

▪ Mothers eat five to six meals a day with high-nutritional ingredients including rice, soups, and seven to eight eggs.

▪ Brown sugar is commonly used because it helps rebuild blood loss.

▪ Drinking rice wine is encouraged to increase the mother’s breast-milk production.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Death Rituals ▪ Death is viewed as a part of the natural cycle of

life; some believe that something good happens to them after they die.

▪ Death and bereavement traditions are centered on ancestor worship, a form of paying respect.

▪ Many believe that their spirits will never rest unless living descendants provide care for the grave and worship the memory of the deceased.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Death Rituals ▪ The dead are honored by placing food, money

for the person’s spirit, or articles made of paper around the coffin.

▪ The belief that the Chinese greet death with stoicism and fatalism is a myth.

▪ The number 4 is considered unlucky because it is pronounced like the Chinese word for death.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Death Rituals

▪ The color white is associated with death and is also considered bad luck.

▪ Mourners are recognized by black armbands on their left arm and white strips of cloth tied around their heads.

▪ The purchase of life insurance may be avoided because of a fear that it is inviting death.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Spirituality ▪ The main formal religions among Chinese are

Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Taoism, and Islam.

▪ Prayer is generally a source of comfort. ▪ Many use a combination of meditation, exercise,

massage, and prayer. ▪ As immigration increases, many who practice

Christian religions have become more visible.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices ▪ While many Chinese people have made the

transition to Western medicine, others maintain their roots in traditional Chinese medicine, and still others practice both types of medicine.

▪ Younger people usually do not hesitate to seek healthcare providers when necessary unless they believe that it does not work for them, then they use traditional Chinese medicine.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices ▪ Older people may try traditional Chinese medicine

first and only seek Western medicine when traditional medicine does not seem to work.

▪ The Chinese tend to describe their pain in terms of more diverse body symptoms, whereas Westerners tend to describe pain locally.

▪ The Western description includes words like “stabbing” and “localized,” whereas the Chinese describe pain as “dull” and more “diffuse.”

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices ▪ Chinese cope with pain by applying oils and

massage, using warmth, sleeping on the area of pain, relaxation, and aspirin.

▪ The balance between yin and yang is used to explain mental as well as physical health. Because a stigma is associated with having a family member who is mentally ill, many families initially seek the help of a folk healer.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-Care Practices

▪ Many Chinese still view mental and physical disabilities as a part of life that should be hidden.

▪ Families may be reluctant to allow autopsies because of their fear of being “cut up.”

▪ Most accept blood transfusions, organ donations, and organ transplants.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices Traditional Chinese medicine includes 5 basic

substances: ▪ qi, energy ▪ xue, blood ▪ jing, essence ▪ shen, spirit ▪ jing ye, body fluids

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices

▪ Acupuncture and moxibustion are used in many treatments. Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into precise points along the channel system of flow of the qi called the 14 meridians.

▪ The system has over 400 points. Many of the same points can be used in applying pressure (acupressure) and massage (acumassage) to achieve relief from imbalances in the system.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices ▪ Moxibustion is the application of heat from

different sources to various points. ▪ For example, one source, such as garlic, is

placed on the distal end of the needle after it is inserted through the skin, and the garlic is set on fire. Sometimes the substance is burned directly over the point without a needle insertion.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practices ▪ Cupping: A heated cup or glass jar is put on the

skin creating a vacuum, which causes the skin to be drawn into the cup. The heat that is generated is used to treat joint pain.

▪ Herbal therapy falls into four categories of energy (cold, hot, warm, and cool), five categories of taste (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty), and a neutral category.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practitioners

▪ Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners are shown great respect by the Chinese. In many instances, they are shown equal, if not more, respect than Western practitioners.

▪ Some distrust Western practitioners because of the pain and invasiveness of their treatments.

 

 

Transcultural Health Care: A Culturally Competent Approach, 4th Edition

Chinese Health-care Practitioners

▪ Older health-care providers receive more respect than younger providers, and men usually receive more respect than women.

▪ Physicians receive the highest respect, followed closely by nurses with a university education.

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