Health Promotion Among Hispanics
Grand Canyon University
Family Centered Health Promotion
April 22, 2015
Health Promotion Among Hispanics
Hispanic or Latino is a term used to describe a group composed of smaller ethnicities. In the United States, Hispanics make 17% ("Hispanic Heritage Month," 2014, para. 3) of the population with Mexicans (64%) being the largest, followed by Puerto Ricans (9.4), Salvadorians (3.8%), Cubans (3.7%), Dominicans (3.1%), Guatemalans (2.3%), and other Hispanic origins (13.7) (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015, table 1).
Poverty rates (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013, table 1) for ...view middle of the document...
Culture and Barriers that Influence Health
Why are Hispanics one of the minorities with the biggest problems and how do we fix them? The question is deeper than the surface of statistics. According to the Pew Research Center (2008, p. 6)
“More than one-fourth of Hispanic adults in the United States lack a usual healthcare provider, and a similar proportion report obtaining no health care information from medical personnel in the past year. At the same time, more than eight in 10 report receiving health information from alternative sources, such as television and radio”
Due to the lack of education and poverty, Hispanics rely heavily on word-of-mouth treatments. Hispanics believe in a balance between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ to be healthy; a disease will cause an imbalance and needs to be treated by the opposite quality (Mexican Cultural Profile, 2003). In addition to receiving and acting upon information from non-credible sources, most Hispanics do not see the problem associated with this advice. “Regarding the quality of the health care they receive, Latinos are generally pleased, according to the [Pew Hispanic Center] survey. Among Latinos who have received health care in the past year, 78 percent rate that care as good or excellent.” ("Access, Information and Knowledge," 2008, Chapter 8).
The reason for the discrepancy in healthcare is largely due to cultural views on illness and treatment. “Non-Latino physicians may be perplexed by references to folk healing and illness in Latino patients. Latino healing traditions include curanderismo (healer) in Mexico and much of Latin America, Santeria (Saints) in Brazil and Cuba, and espiritismo (spiritualism) in Puerto Rico.” (Juckett, 2013, p. 50). The problem is not that Hispanics may not see an issue, it is that they may underestimate the problem and/or the treatment and may make it worse.
Apart from a cultural barrier hindering health, another major contributing factor is a language barrier. According to a study in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Page-Reeves et al., 2011, p. 38) “...participants reported a dearth in bilingual support at clinics. One of the interviewees, who also has a job as an interpreter at a large hospital, indicated that the interpretation provided is often very poor.” Another problem is legal status as Hispanics do not tend to seek care in fear of being deported.
How to Move Forward
Using the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary prevention concepts (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013), one could group barriers for Hispanic in a Tertiary type of prevention. The reason for tertiary prevention...