Cross-Cultural Barriers to Health Care

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Abstract

Culturally sensitive health care represents a real ethical and practical need in a Western healthcare system increasingly serving a multiethnic society. This review focuses on cross-cultural barriers to health care and incongruent aspects from a cultural perspective in the provision of health care. To overcome difficulties in culturally dissimilar interactions and eventually remove cross-cultural barriers to health care, a culturally sensitive physician considers his or her own identity, values, and beliefs; recognizes the similarities and differences among cultures; understands what those similarities and differences mean; and is able to bridge the differences to accomplish clear and effective communication.

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