Cultural Differences and Healthcare Provision

Cultural Differences and Healthcare Provision

A Mexican woman who lives in the United States is more likely to provide substandard caregiving services to their loved ones as compared to an American woman. The basis of this argument is the fact that health literacy is an issue that has been ignored for a very long time in many cultures. One of the common assumptions is the fact that with money, the concept of culture can be excluded in healthcare giving (Kim & Xie, 2017). Health literacy is the level in which a person can access, understand, and process health information regarding a disease.

Fei, Ong, and Denisse (2012) state that overall, health literacy helps one make the appropriate decisions that are required for either themselves or their patients. Health care literacy needs to be functional, where the caregiver has diverse skills to help them comprehend health information (Knight & Sayegh, 2012). With this, such caregivers are in a position to render the necessary health care efficiently.

Culture has very many features that affect health care provision, including beliefs, socioeconomic status, norms, and practices of a particular group (Lindstorm, 2016). Two main issues need to be explored in an attempt to explain the stated premise. First, one needs to understand the characteristics of Mexicans who come to the United States in search of the American dream, and secondly, one also needs to understand the issue of health literacy within the context of the American dream.Cultural Differences and Healthcare Provision

It is arguable that even with the same universal medical system in place, it is still common to find that most Mexicans in America are still providing poor caregiving services to their patients. An example can be used to explain the concept further. An individual of Mexican descent and an individual of American descent are taking care of two patients at the same time. The American is assumed to have more health care knowledge than the Mexican. The assumption is based on the fact that the Mexican will mainly rely on household methods of treatment compared to modern ways of treatment that the Americans will embrace.


The best approach for the research is the deductive approach. Deductive reasoning does not seek to introduce an entirely new theory. It merely tests a hypothesis by narrowing down from a general view to a more specific rationale (Godfrey, 2013). It can be argued that society deems Mexicans, less educated. Therefore, they do not have the ability to offer quality care to patients. Whereas one can say that the premise is correct, other more detailed elements play a huge role in healthcare literacy that are rarely explored. One such feature is culture. Specific tests will have to be conducted to get to the specific conclusions necessary, such as:


Brown bag test

This test is used to refer to the brown bag that holds the drugs dispensed. A caregiver will be asked to come will all the different medications that they administer to the patient. The caregivers will then be asked to name each drug, its uses, and why the patient has to take medicine in question.

Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM)

This is one of the most common tests in the medical field. A caregiver will be asked to pronounce some medical terms. They do not necessarily have to know the meaning but merely show that they have heard of them and are in a position to pronounce them.

Newest Vital Signs (NVS)

This is a simple test that seeks to find out what kind of material the caregiver reads. The caregiver will be asked simple questions such as what his or her favorite genre is when looking for a book to read.

All the tests mentioned earlier aim at providing a narrower view of why a Mexican woman in the United States would not be able to provide standard caregiving help to her ailing husband despite her willingness.Cultural Differences and Healthcare Provision


From the brown bag test, one can expect the Mexican mothers to have some similar features. It is anticipated that due to exposure, a majority of the American mothers will not only know why and how the drug is taken but will also have alternatives to the drugs and even natural substitutes. The assumption can be made based on the ideology that the American mother has prose task ability. Prose task is a proactive approach where one spends time learning about a component, element, or item (Havilland, BcBride & Walrath, 2014). The Mexican has traveled to America in search of the American dream and questioning learned doctors is not part of the American dream. The blind faith in the ‘American dream’ plays a huge role here. Other options will rarely be explored.

The REALM test is expected to tell more about the exposure of the two women. For most Mexicans who come in search of a better life in the United States, there is no ample time for exposure to different aspects of life. They only understand that getting money is the solution to all their problems. Americans, on the other hand, are used to a stable medical system, thus, have ample time to research and get to know some of the medical terms asked.

The Newest Vital Sign test will show how culture has impacted the thinking of both the American and Mexican women. The socio-cultural problems the American mother faces are very different from those the Mexican mother faces. The American woman’s way of thinking may be more flexible compared to her counterpart. The kind of books the American woman reads are more complicated compared to those the Mexican woman reads. Looking at the television series both women watch can also illuminate their differences. For instance, the American woman will prefer Grey’s Anatomy, a medical series, compared to the soap operas, which the Mexican mother prefers. It is crucial to clarify that such preferences are purely based on cultural priorities.

The culture aspect is evident from the premises presented. It is impossible to merely conclude that money is the only factor that will make a Mexican mother caregiver provide substandard services. There are three main components of a functional healthcare giver; possession of rhetorical skills (to question processes), problem-solving, and ability to use technology to their advantage especially regarding research (Lindstorm, 2016).

There are several limitations to the research proposed. One such limitation is the fact that it does not compare Americans and Mexicans living in Mexico to ascertain that indeed the trend is similar. Only Americans and Mexicans living in the US are to be analyzed. However, the research gives a clear indication that there is indeed a cultural difference.Cultural Differences and Healthcare Provision


Burnette, D., Fei, S., & Ong, R. (2012). The influence of ethnicity and culture on dementia caregiving. A review of empirical studies on Chinese Americans. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, 27(1), 13-22.

Godfrey, S. P. (2013). Theory and reality: An introduction to the philosophy of science. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Havilland, W., McBride, B., & Walrath, D. (2014). Cultural anthropology: The human challenge. New York, NY: Wadswoth Learning.

Kim, H., & Xie, B. (2017). Health literacy in the eHealth era: A systematic review of the literature. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(6), 1073-1082.

Knight, B. & Sayegh, P. (2012). Cultural value and caregiving: The updated sociocultural stress and coping model. Journal of Gerontology Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 64(1), 4 13.

Lindstorm, M. (2016). Small data: The tiny clues that uncover huge trends. London, UK: St. Martin Press.Cultural Differences and Healthcare Provision