Web Resources for

Particular Cultures

& Ethnicity

Notwithstanding Australia’s cultural diversity, “ethnic minority groups continue to have less access to health care systems, let alone culturally appropriate care, including palliative and end of life care.” The authors discuss barriers and provide some generic approaches for GPs as they consider the care needs of people from different cultural backgrounds. They also highlight care issues GPs may consider when providing terminal care for someone from a different cultural background.

Peter Ko shares some lessons he has had to learn the hard way in ministering to Chinese migrants: (1) Friendships: easy to start, hard to maintain; (2) “Face” is everything; (3) The art of diplomacy; (4) When saying ‘no’ means ‘no’; (5) Western ‘confidence’ is off-putting; (6) Other short tips.

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This article considers health literacy and health beliefs. It is recognised that the “concepts of illness and disease used by most practitioners in the UK are based on a Western biomedical model”, whereas “what constitutes ‘illness’ is different in every culture…” There are comments on FGM (female genital mutilation). A useful cultural awareness tool is made available. There are additional helpful sections on diagnosis, treatment plan, psychological health and somatization (the reporting of a range of physical symptoms that lack a physical basis) – all with helpful application to differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The study concludes: “Gender, ethnicity and culture have significant effects on the presentation of disease and beliefs about illness and health practices of every individual.”

James Morris explains that nomadism is not simply defined by mobility, but by worldview. He distinguishes between three types of nomadism: (1) pastoral nomads who live and move with their animals and depend on them for their livelihood 0 the most common type; (2) hunter-gatherers who live off hunting animals and gathering berries, seeds and other plants – the least common; (3) ‘service nomads’, like the traveller communities in Europe, who have a skill they offer to settled communities near which they settle for a season or longer, e.g. horse-traders, artisans, copper-smiths. A conversation concerning nomadic hospitality illustrated key aspects of nomadism: tribal identity, mobility, autonomy, and their view that they are different from everyone else.

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