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Health care beliefs of people from Asian cultures differ from those of people born in American cultures. The beliefs impact health outcomes in these cultures since they determine health care models utilized. Chinese and Guatemalan cultures have similar and varying health care beliefs. Chinese have high trust in Western medicine in the treatment of diseases like cancer and cardiovascular problems even though they prioritize traditional medicine. On the other hand, Guatemalans believe medical procedures such as drawing blood samples for diagnosis is wrong since it makes one weak and unhealthy. The beliefs hinder the effective utilization of evidence-based care since they elicit fear. Chinese and Guatemalan cultures have some similar and different health care beliefs that hinder the use of evidence-based health care since they elicit fear.
Health care beliefs of Chinese Heritage
In Chinese heritage, traditional medicine is prevalent even though they also believe and apply Western medicine. According to Cheung, Buckley, and Watanabe (2017), Goji berry and Ginseng species are commonly used in traditional medicines to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, improve eyesight, and to enhance overall body strength. The young generations seek biomedical health care services unless they believe they are not working where they later substitute with western medicine. On the other hand, older people prioritize the use of traditional medicine over Western medicine. Acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion are some traditional methods used and are highly regarded by the Chinese. Chinese have high trust in modern medicines in addressing health care problems such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, but often prioritize traditional medicine (Sun, 2017). Moreover, Chinese culture believes that the balance of Yin and Yang helps to maintain a balance of physical and mental health. The Yin and Yang balance consists of a balanced diet. There also exists a belief that people with mental and physical disabilities are unfit in society. This belief delays medical attention to such cases leading debilitating conditions.
Health care beliefs of Guatemalan Heritage
Guatemalans apply both traditional medicine provided by herbalists and Western medicine in their health care practices. According to Hoyler (2018), Maya Guatemalans utilize traditional medicine as the primary source of health care and are guided by Mayan spirits. The people believe that a medical procedure of removing blood samples for testing is wrong since it would make one weak and unhealthy. This reduces the number of people who visit local pharmacists for remedies even though they also value biomedical health care systems. Guatemalans believe that deteriorating illnesses are a result of punishment from God rather than a lack of early diagnosis or prevention. There even exist magical-based beliefs on the causes of diseases such as the evil eye in Mayan culture. Guatemalans believe that a balanced diet plays a significant role in determining their health. For this belief, food is handled with care while cooking to avoid food poisoning and is also eaten when warm since cold food is perceived to cause illnesses.
Similarities of health care beliefs between both heritages
One similarity of health care beliefs between Guatemalan and Chinese cultures is that they value traditional medicine over Western medicine. The other similarity is that they use herbs and proper diet to enhance good health. Also, there is high trust in the credibility of biomedical health care systems in both cultures, which implies that there is a high probability of absorbing modern health care models in these cultures.
Effects of the health care beliefs in the delivery of Evidence-based health care
Health care beliefs in both cultures affect the delivery of evidence-based health care because they favor traditional medicine over Western medicine by eliciting fear. For instance, Guatemalans fear drawing blood samples for testing since they believe it will render one unhealthy and weak. This implies that most people do not access the early diagnosis of illnesses, which hinders the delivery of evidence-based health care. Chinese culture also has high regard for procedures such as cupping and acupuncture, which hinder the utilization of evidence-based health care in pain management. Guatemalans also have negative beliefs about organ donation, which elicit fear on any health concern related to organ donation. This hinders the delivery of evidence-based health care.
Health care beliefs among cultures influence the utilization of evidence-based health care since they tend to favor existing knowledge in preventing and curing illnesses. Chinese and Guatemalan cultures have similar health care beliefs, such as they both prioritize the use of traditional medicine even though they acknowledge Western medicine. Both cultures believe that a balanced diet is crucial for good health. Chinese believe that physical and mental disability is a bad omen, which hinders evidence-based health care. However, Guatemalans believe in the guidance of Mayan spirits in case of health problems before seeking Western medicine. People from Asian cultures have varying health care beliefs from American natives.
Cheung, K. L. C., Buckley, E. R., & Watanabe, K. (2017). Traditional Chinese Medicine Market in Hong Kong. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 4(1), 555-630.
Hoyler, E., Martinez, R., Mehta, K., Nisonoff, H., & Boyd, D. (2018). Beyond medical pluralism: Characterising health-care delivery of biomedicine and traditional medicine in rural Guatemala. Global public health, 13(4), 503-517.
Sun, K. S., Cheng, Y. H., Wun, Y. T., & Lam, T. P. (2017). Choices between Chinese and Western medicine in Hong Kong–interactions of institutional environment, health beliefs and treatment outcomes. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 28, 70-74.