Spirituality in Health Care Essay
Spirituality in Health Care Essay
The current health practice is complex due to the complexity and diversity of patient needs. Typically, patient needs vary with age, culture, beliefs, and social class, among other factors. These variations oblige health care professionals to understand patient needs and the triggers of the variations to offer patient-centered care. The intersection between spirituality and health outcomes must never be overlooked, particularly for patients advanced in age. Due to their critical role in health care delivery, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNPs) must be aware of specific populations’ spiritual and cultural needs and their influence on health outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to explore the AGACNP’s role in assessing African Americans’ health and wellness, with particular attention to the influence of cultural and spiritual factors on health and well-being.
African American Views on Chronic Diseases and Health Maintenance
Populations view chronic diseases and health maintenance differently depending on education levels, quality of life, exposure, access to health care facilities and other factors. Like many other population groups, African Americans dread chronic diseases since a medical diagnosis confirming a chronic disease is a leading fear among this group (Connell et al., 2019). The fear is also a leading barrier to health care utilization since African Americans fear the challenge associated with health maintenance and reduced independence when an individual or a family member is chronically ill. Johnson-Lawrence et al. (2019) revealed that African Americans understand the significant threat that chronic diseases pose to their health, well-being and productivity. Continuous health education, social interactions, and access to information have been integral to creating an informed community that makes accurate health decisions.
Regarding health maintenance, African Americans are more open to non-conventional treatments than whites. Johnson-Lawrence et al. (2019) analyzed this difference and found that most African Americans mix traditional and conventional health interventions to cure chronic diseases. For instance, spirituality is embraced as healing and coping mechanism. Johnson-Lawrence et al. (2019) further observed that as high as 87% of African Americans belong to a faith-based community, and the affiliation encourages them to blend spiritual practices with conventional medicine to promote healing. As a result, health and wellness are not restricted to modern methods. Preventive health is also embraced since physical activity and healthy foods are highly regarded as far as chronic disease prevention is concerned (Johnson-Lawrence et al., 2019). Nurses must understand these views and how they influence health practices and respond effectively.
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Cultural and Spiritual Factors Determining Health Promotion and Maintenance
Patients’ attitudes toward health promotion and maintenance determine their interventions to prevent and cope with illnesses. Common but not restricted to the elderly, a deep connection to rural life reduces African Americans’ priority for preventive health (Connell et al., 2019). Here, the inference is that most seek medical assistance for chronic illnesses when signs are visible or when they are already critically ill. The other cultural factor affecting attitude is cultural strength; African Americans are more comfortable consulting or seeking care from health care professionals from a similar cultural background (Siler et al., 2021; Shepherd et al., 2018). Although this behavior is common in many populations, it hampers patient-provider relationships and overall health outcomes. Spiritual factors with profound impacts include religious affiliation and trust in spiritual practices for coping with life’s stressors (Siler et al., 2021). The church is a leading resource for emotional and social well-being since it provides safe spaces for patients such as older adults. Spiritual practices include prayers, meditation, and reading religious materials for hope. Nurses must be aware of the influence of cultural and spiritual factors and support patients to engage in spirituality as much as possible.
Influence of Personal Worldview
African Americans are a unique population group that deserves respect, engagement, and ready support. Despite my in-depth understanding of the value of conventional methods in illness prevention and health maintenance, I also understand the importance of individual values, norms, and spirituality. As Stubbe (2020) stressed, respecting patients’ beliefs, culture, and religious practices is the foundation of culturally-competent care. Similarly, I respect the diverse views of this unique group and patients are assisted in understanding the implications of every practice on their health. I also respect patients’ values and preferences as a key component of evidence-based practice and for promoting healthy patient-provider relationships.
Possible Cultural Bias in Different Preferences and Perceptions
Cultural bias are typical in health practice and affects health outcomes profoundly. A typical cultural bias is being comfortable when receiving medical assistance from health care professionals from own culture. According to Shepherd et al. (2018), this cultural bias is widespread and makes patients to prefer nurses from their ethnicity and religions. It further hampers the patients’ perceptions on health care givers and is a precursor for poor treatment and low satisfaction. Unless nurses are aware of these biases and how to prevent them, optimal health outcomes cannot be achieved.
Cultural beliefs and practices vary across populations and have far-reaching effects on how different populations view health promotion and related practices. As discussed in this paper, nurses must be aware of the variations in cultural practices and their impacts on health among unique groups such as African Americans. Such understanding helps nurses to respect patients’ uniqueness and support them to express themselves and engage in spirituality and other culture-driven practices for illness prevention and health promotion.
Connell, C. L., Wang, S. C., Crook, L., & Yadrick, K. (2019). Barriers to healthcare seeking and provision among African American adults in the rural Mississippi delta region: Community and provider perspectives. Journal of community health, 44(4), 636–645. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-019-00620-1
Johnson-Lawrence, V., Bailey, S., Sanders, P. E., Sneed, R., Angel-Vincent, A., Brewer, A., … & Johnson, J. E. (2019). The church challenge: A community-based multilevel cluster randomized controlled trial to improve blood pressure and wellness in African American Churches in Flint, Michigan. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 14, 100329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100329
Shepherd, S. M., Willis-Esqueda, C., Paradies, Y., Sivasubramaniam, D., Sherwood, J., & Brockie, T. (2018). Racial and cultural minority experiences and perceptions of health care provision in a Mid-Western region. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0744-x
Siler, S., Arora, K., Doyon, K., & Fischer, S. M. (2021). Spirituality and the illness experience: Perspectives of African American older adults. The American journal of hospice & palliative care, 38(6), 618–625. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049909120988280
Stubbe, D. E. (2020). Practicing cultural competence and cultural humility in the care of diverse patients. Focus, 18(1), 49-51. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.focus.20190041
Different cultural groups have unique beliefs and attitudes about health promotion and spirituality. It is important for a nurse practitioner to understand and adapt to those cultural and spiritual beliefs when educating patients.
Write an essay of 750-1,000 words defining the AGACNP role of assessing the health and wellness of a specific patient population. Your essay should include three to five peer-reviewed sources.
A patient population can be a group of patients with the same chronic disease, same ethnicity, from the same community, or any other defined specific group.
Your essay should cover the following:
1. Establish how the specific patient population views chronic diseases and the maintenance of wellness.
2. Explain the cultural and spiritual factors that may affect the attitudes of patients and families toward health promotion and maintenance.
3. Evaluate how your own personal worldview influences your attitudes and beliefs toward health maintenance of this patient population.
4. Evaluate how cultural bias may result in very different health-related preferences and perceptions.
You are required to cite three to five sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the past 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and nursing content.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.