Hispanic Heritage and the Obstacles Faced in Healthcare Provision

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Nontraditional Therapies
  • Neuro-Linguistic Psychology (NLP)
  • Timelinked Release Therapy (TRT) 
  • Erickson Hypnotherapy (EH)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Challenges and Barriers to Healthcare and Outcomes Related Trans-Cultural Beliefs 
  • Language
    Religious Practices
    Socioeconomic Status
    End-Of-Life Practice
    Dietary Preferences
    Risk Behaviors
  • Evidence-Based Plan to Improve Healthcare Outcomes and Access to Healthcare for Hispanic Culture


In the contemporary globalized world, there is an increasingly growing multicultural society that continues to present healthcare practitioners with challenges of providing suitable healthcare services for patients with different philosophy of healthcare, value systems, beliefs, life experiences, languages, and religions (Nalayeh, 2018). People’s health perceptions and health behaviors are often considered indivisible from each other. Moreover, it is important to note that communities have endeavored to uphold their cultural aspects for many years and as a result, have passes down this aspect to their health behaviors in the sense that that they often strive to find treatment to their health issues in a cultural manner (Polster, 2018). The objective of this term paper is to conduct a cultural assessment of Hispanic/Latino population and how culture influences health beliefs. Hispanics/Latino share a strong heritage that entails religion and family, and every subgroup of the Hispanic population has distinct cultural customs and beliefs (Sobel & Metzler Sawin, 2014). Cultural variables often act as motivational factors in the health-disease relationships and they include: Language, religious practices, socioeconomic status, end-of-life practices, dietary preferences, and risks behaviors.

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Nontraditional Therapies

Health behaviors involve fundamental actions undertaken by people and which affects mortality or health and can either be unintentional or intentional. These actions can either promote or diminish individual’s health value from their health. Nontraditional therapies are often utilized together with conventional therapies to improve patient outcome and therefore their understanding especially in regard to the treatment of aged patients with posttraumatic stress disorder is very important to healthcare providers (Non-traditional Therapies, 2019). The use of nontraditional therapies enables one to adopt a result-oriented approach to focus on how an individual’s mind works and subsequently utilize the mind language to change vital areas in your life with the view to living up to the individuals’ highest potential. Nontraditional therapies commonly used include:

Neuro-Linguistic Psychology (NLP)

NLP is a form of nontraditional therapy that provides simple but extremely powerful techniques for altering behavior as well as producing outcomes. It entails a remarkable integration of different disciplines such as cybernetics, psychology, neurology, systems theory and linguistics. NLP focuses on how human brain functions by coding experience and learning, consequently affecting communication and behavior (Non-traditional Therapies, 2019). Therefore, NLP is concerned with how individuals learn and how they perceive the world around them by focusing on how we structure subjective experience how individuals organize what they see, feel and hear and how they edit and filter the external world via their senses. 

Timelinked Release Therapy (TRT) 

TRT is another vital accelerated nontraditional therapy that focuses on how individuals encode and store memories as well as clearing negative emotions and limit past decisions, consequently impacting positively in individuals’ personality, health and behavior (Non-traditional Therapies, 2019). According to TRT, individual emotions depend on a certain time frame for existence. For instance, most guilt emotions relate to the past experiences, while boredom relates to the present experience and anxiety relates to future events. It is therefore important for health care providers to work with how their patients internalize time to be able to clear and release negative emotions and their related experiences from memory.

Erickson Hypnotherapy (EH)

EH is another form of nontraditional therapy that focuses on the aspect of indirect suggestion with the view to effecting therapeutic behavioral change. In this method, health care providers use metaphors, symbols, antidotes, and contradictions to communicate with their behaviors as opposed to approaching them directly (Non-traditional Therapies, 2019). Using this method, physicians are required to put themselves in their patients’ shoes to be able to fully understand their present situation.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

EFT is another form of nontraditional therapy for emotional distress and physical pain and is commonly referred to as psychological acupressure (Non-traditional Therapies, 2019). Individuals using this method believe that tapping the body often creates a balance in their energy system and also treat pain, since disruption of energy flow leads to negative pain and emotions. The method is often used to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and those with anxiety. It is similar to acupuncture, however EFT employs fingertip tapping to apply pressure to energy points as opposed to using needles.

Challenges and Barriers to Healthcare and Outcomes Related Trans-Cultural Beliefs 


Language plays a vital role in enhancing communication between healthcare providers and patients resulting in accurate initial diagnosis as well as optimal treatment (Polster, 2018). In Hispanic population, Spanish is the primary language used by many people. However, there exist different dialects and variations among those who have differences (Sobel & Metzler Sawin, 2014). Young Hispanic often uses a mix of English and Spanish, but writing and reading are hardly common means of communication among individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Moreover, nonverbal and verbal communications from Hispanics are normallcharacterized by respect and communication must be respectful. Elements of formality are prevalent in Hispanic interactions, particularly when addressing older persons.

Religious Practices

God’s perceived role in sickness and recuperation significantly influence individuals’ health care beliefs and behaviors in society. Moreover, individuals’ religious practices often result in different health care beliefs that are different according to one’s religion (Nalayeh, 2018). Majority of Hispanics are Roman Catholics and their religious and spiritual influences play a vital role in daily life, illness and health such as the aspect of anointing the sick and baptizing infants who are in life threatening situations. Many Hispanic patients share the Fatalistic views and believe that sickness is God’s divine punishment or will caused by current or previous sinful behaviors (Sobel & Metzler Sawin, 2014). Therefore, the church and faith remain a source of strength and hope among the Hispanic community, particularly during times of illness.

Socioeconomic Status

Socioeconomic status significantly impacts on the general health care of patients in the sense that that impoverished individuals normally have low-income employments that have long working hours and with no health benefits (Dubey, 2018). In this regard, such individuals hardly bother to seek for proper medical care, particularly for those meant to prevent diseases, unless they have visible symptoms of diseases. Regarding the role of family, Hispanic population greatly values family over community or individual needs and that the most basic and common social unit is the nuclear family (Jiménez et al., 2014). The family structure of Hispanic population is normally patriarchal with a rigid hierarchical structure and therefore the oldest male or father holds the greatest power in families and often make health decisions for other family members. Family members are required to provide emotional, social and financial support to each other (Estrada et al., 2017).

Therefore, family involvement in health care is prevalent among Hispanic and therefore, health care providers must include the family as a focus and resource of care in health planning as well as complying with family gender and patient roles.

End-Of-Life Practice

It is vital for health care providers to understand the cultural backgrounds of their patients in order to provide able care at the end of life. Cultural factors significantly influence the kind of decisions made during the end-of-care practice and as such it is important for care providers to honor and appreciate cultural diversity with the view to keeping the lines of communication open as well as helping them extract the required information (Nalayeh, 2018). For instance, in Hispanic community, it’s the elder male in the family that can make final decisions on whether to withdraw or withhold life sustaining treatment.

Dietary Preferences

For most individuals, food is cultural and not nutritional in the sense that certain animal or plan may be edible in one community and inedible in another (Dubey, 2018). Hispanics are heterogeneous group of people with differences in dietary preferences reflecting different cultural background. It is therefore important to understand these variations since nutrition contributes immensely to the burden of some avoidable illnesses as well as deaths in the U.S.

According to Jiménez et al., (2014), Prior studies have shown that Hispanic population often consume high amount of sugar-sweetened beverages which is an aspect of concern because it is related to, abdominal obesity, and cardiovascular risk factors.

Risk Behaviors

Health risk behavior remains one of the biggest of concerns to health care providers as they continue to contribute to the social problem and burden of disease among people across the globe (Ssewanyana et al., 2018). Health behavior includes certain actions and their related perceptions and attitudes that underlie individuals’ tendency to indulge in activities associated with vulnerability to specific illness or disease. According to Estrada et al. (2017), Hispanic adolescents often indulge in risky behaviors such as unprotected sexual behavior; drug use and alcohol use (Estrada et al., 2017). The national epidemiological surveys conducted among sexually active adolescents indicated that Hispanic youths hardly use condom during their sexual encounters. The aspect of engaging in unprotected sexual behaviors often result in sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy, driving while drunk leads to accidents, unhealthy dietary behavior leads to serious diseases like obesity, and poor hygiene leads to cholera among many other aspects.

Evidence-Based Plan to Improve Healthcare Outcomes and Access to Healthcare for Hispanic Culture

According to Albougami (2016), the fundamental aspect of providing the best possible care for patients from diverse cultural background requires proper understanding of their culture in respect with language barriers, different health beliefs and practices, and low socioeconomic status as well as the understanding medical issues that are unique to their culture. Finding good local interpreters can play a vital role in improving healthcare outcomes and access to healthcare for Hispanic patients. Moreover, employing nurses and physicians who can fluently communicate in different Hispanic languages can also help improve healthcare outcomes and access to healthcare for Hispanic population in order to minimize erroneous preliminary diagnosis as well as suboptimal cure of patients. According to Estrada et al. (2017), majority of

Hispanic population in the United States have difficulties speaking English language and as a result, hardly go for medical checkups. In regard to socioeconomic barriers, it is vital to assure Hispanic patients that healthcare providers hardly work for people from wealthy families alone and that they provide care services to everybody irrespective of their economic status. This aspect will encourage everyone with symptoms of illness to seek medical attention irrespective of their social economic status in society. According to Estrada et al. (2017), majority of uninsured Hispanic populations in the U. S. hardly go for testing blood pressure because they can’t afford physician’s fees. Moreover, healthcare providers should seek to involve social workers to enhance patients’ awareness of all the available social services as well as risk health behaviors in order to promote good health behaviors among people.

Similarly, care providers can also ask their patients about their perceptions of the sickness with the view to avoiding making false assumptions of their Hispanic heritage and acculturation level. This aspect will aid to understand the existing variations between patients’ culture as well as the biomedical culture, thus improving healthcare outcomes and access to healthcare. Moreover, according to Nalayeh (2018), it is also the responsibility of medical practitioners to understand the patient’s religious beliefs in order to appropriately meet their health care needs.

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