There are many cultural groups in my community, identified in a variety of ways. These groups may have different health care needs. For example, my community has a substantial group of families with young children. Medically, they are most concerned with prenatal care, labor and delivery, and pediatric specialties. There is also a group of seniors (above the age of 65) who are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Ethnic or immigrant groups are common and include immigrants from southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The susceptibility of ethnic groups to certain diseases such as cancer can vary for both genetic and environmental conditions. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and other religions may have different needs, especially within subgroups such as Christian Scientists or Jehovah’s Witnesses individual groups. Grouping individuals by socioeconomic status can be important to their medical needs, particularly for people who are homeless. For example, children living in poverty are more likely to be malnourished and to have high blood levels of lead. It is essential for healthcare providers to know about the cultures represented and to address unique needs with no judgment (Purnell, 2013).Immigrants from Mexico and Central American countries are common in my community. Because many intestinal parasites are endemic to these countries, immigrants often bring parasites with them that are less common in the United States. Individuals who do not enter the country under established protocols do not receive medical examinations, while those who do follow protocols are examined, but are usually not tested or treated specifically for parasites (Ostera & Blum, 2016). This is a significant issue since they can re-infect themselves and each other by the fecal-oral route.
Individuals from Asia are also common in my community. These include Indians/Pakistani, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese. According to Gomez and colleagues (2013), when the incidence of various cancers in members of these groups was compared to incidence in non-Hispanic whites, there were certain cancers that were more common in some groups. For example, Indian/Pakistani men and Filipina and Korean women had greater risk of lung cancer, while liver cancer was more common among Vietnamese, Kampuchean, and Filipino women and among Vietnamese, Kampuchean, and Laotian women (Gomez et al., 2013). Healthcare providers working with members of these groups should remember these increased susceptibilities.
- Gomez, S. L., Noone, A. M., Lichtensztajn, D. Y., Scoppa, S., Gibson, J. T., Liu, L., … & Goodman, M. T. (2013). Cancer incidence trends among Asian American populations in the United States, 1990–2008. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 105(15), 1096-1110.
- Ostera, G., & Blum, J. (2016). Strongyloidiasis: Risk and Healthcare Access for Latin American Immigrants Living in the United States. Current Tropical Medicine Reports, 3(1), 1-3.
- Purnell, L. D. (2012). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach. FA Davis.