Research a Chosen Culture’s History and Health Beliefs and Explore Ways To Ensure Quality Care to Diverse Patient Populations While Resisting Stereotypes.


Introduction

Geographically, Lebanon is located in the Middle East, bordering Syria, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. The Lebanese culture is a blend of Western and Eastern cultures. It is a diverse culture founded on a multi-religious society dominated by Christianity and Islam. Religious diversity is reminiscent of the country’s architectural landscape. The Lebanese culture emphasizes strong family ties, hospitality and generosity. The country has a complex political history and an incredible cultural fusion. The research explores the history, health and beliefs of the Lebanese culture. Despite existing stereotypes, the paper will discuss modalities for ensuring quality healthcare for the culturally diverse population.

What is cultural competency?

Cultural competency entails having a thorough knowledge of diverse cultures’ beliefs, customs and values to effectively and respectfully interact with them. Cultural competency is essential to dental hygienists since they interact with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. It helps dental hygienists build trust and rapport with patients, tailor healthcare services, eliminate sources of misunderstandings, and improve health outcomes (Abou-mrad & Tarabey, 2014).

Historical Perspective:

Briefly describe the geography/location where this population originated.

Lebanon is a tiny nation in the Middle East, bordering Israel, the Mediterranean and Syria. The Syrian and Israeli cultures and Eastern and other Middle Eastern cultures primarily influence the Lebanese culture (Fawaz,2002). Besides, the country’s culture has been influenced by Western cultures, especially the Phoenicians, The Ottomans and the French cultures.

What language, spirituality, and customs are passed down from generation to generation?

Lebanon is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nation. The languages spoken include Arabic, English and French. Regarding spirituality, Lebanon is a multi-religious nation, with Islam and Christianity comprising the most prominent religions. Regarding customs and cultural beliefs, the Lebanese culture is primarily influenced by its colonial history. The Lebanese cuisine is a blend of Eastern, Western and Mediterranean cuisines. The culture underscores collectivism, where the extended family is considered part of the family.

Summarize important historical events that have influenced how the population interacts with that outside of their culture and explain how this may inform behaviours today. Examples: Colonialism, slavery, etc.

The history of Lebanon has significantly influenced how its population interacts with the outside world. Key historical events that have shaped Lebanese culture include the colonization by the French and Ottoman Empires. Secondly, the 1975 war significantly influenced the country’s culture, leading to socio-political fragmentation. Colonization by the Ottoman Empire and the French-influenced different aspects of Lebanese culture. For instance, the clothing, cuisine, language, political and economic systems. Colonialism and slavery tended to fragment the family. These have led to a collectivist social system that exists to date.

Have historical events eroded or improved trust in healthcare practitioners? Explain.

Historical events in Lebanon have significantly impacted the healthcare system and uptake of healthcare services. Some effects include resource availability, funding and equitable access to care. Although the historical events may have eroded the trust in healthcare practitioners, research suggests strong uptake of modern healthcare. Challenges emanating from historical events include political instability, regional conflicts and economic challenges. Notwithstanding the tumultuous history of Lebanon, healthcare practitioners continue to provide essential healthcare services.

Social dynamics: (1-2 paragraphs)

Thoroughly describe communication style/preferences, ex. Eye contact, physical touch, and the meaning of gestures.

Physical communication is essential in Lebanese culture. The Lebanese communicate using a blend of a direct eye and physical contact. Eye contact and touch are regarded as a sign of respect. The culture emphasizes close contact, expressive body language, and gestures to communicate emotions. A nodding conveys agreement, whereas arm crossing or head shaking would denote disagreement. In a nutshell, Lebanese culture underscores direct speech, though indirect speech is occasionally used alongside humour in informal communication.

Is this a collectivist or individualistic culture? Explain what this means.

The Lebanese culture is predominantly collectivist as it underscores the collective needs of a group of people (family) rather than an individual. In this culture, the welfare and needs of the community supersede an individual’s. The Lebanese people value close family ties. Close family members have a collective responsibility of supporting and aiding others. Humour and shame are also considered essential aspects of Lebanese culture.

Family/gender dynamics: elaborate on children’s relationship with parents, male and female interactions/gender dynamics, and family power dynamics.

Gender and family dynamics play a critical role in the Lebanese culture. Strong family ties characterize the culture. Family members respect and financially support their parents and elderly members. The culture underscores traditional gender roles where men are supposed to provide while women are supposed to undertake family chores (Perry, 2002). Still, the culture emphasizes masculinity, so men are expected to be strong. Family power dynamics place insurmountable pressure on men as they are expected to be strong, assertive and provide for the family.

Concept and perception of time. Ex. Is tardiness considered offensive?

Generally speaking, the concept of time in the Lebanese culture is fluid and relaxed compared to Western cultures. Punctuality is only considered essential in formal settings. Tardiness is not considered offensive. One can be late for a meeting without offending. Formal meetings extend beyond scheduled time to allow people time to socialize since personal relationships supersede the need for punctuality (Moghnieh, 2023).

Health Beliefs: (1-2 paragraphs)

Explain the Health Beliefs and Practices of your chosen culture: This may include but is not limited to Herbal remedies, eastern/western approaches to medicine, healers, traditional foods and medicine, and rituals, ex. Sweat lodges, fasting, etc.

Cultural and religious beliefs, social and economic factors and healthcare accessibility influence Lebanese health beliefs. The Lebanese healthcare beliefs and practices include a holistic health approach, the role of religion, traditional medicine, a healthy diet, family support and access to healthcare (Perry, 2002). However, the holistic approach is the predominant belief that underscores health and well-being. Traditional practices and herbal remedies are used to augment Western medicine.

Discuss health disparities. Does this population have access to and utilize healthcare today?

The disparity and unequal healthcare access result from social-economic disparities, geography, ethnicity, and gender. These disparities cause unequal access to healthcare and utilization of health services. Key factors contributing to health disparities include ethnicity, gender, geography, gender socio-economic status. These disparities pose a challenge to healthcare delivery.

What are the barriers to care that this population is confronted with? How does this culture express pain, ex? Vocal, stoic? Are they receptive to pain management?

Barriers to healthcare include social-economic disparities and challenges that affect healthcare access and affordability. The second barrier is the lack of health insurance. Other barriers include inadequate healthcare infrastructure, political instability and language barriers (Gelvin, 2002). These barriers have made healthcare inaccessible to most of the population. The Lebanese people express pain verbally. They use Arabic phrases to express pain verbally. However, non-verbal communication is also common, where grimacing and physical gestures are used (Perry, 2002). Pain is also expressed through sobbing. Generally, the Lebanese people are receptive to pain management therapies.

Dental Setting: (1-2 paragraphs)

How will being a collectivist or individualistic culture affect your interactions with the patient?

The Lebanese culture is collectivist and underscores collectivism rather than individualism. The collectivist nature can impact how a dental hygienist interacts with patients. Some ways include decision-making, communication, trust, confidentiality, and respect for authority figures (Kazarian, 2005). The collectivist approach can impact healthcare delivery since the dental hygienist must adapt treatment by prioritizing communal needs over the patient’s.

What etiquette, body language, gestures, and verbal and non-verbal communication techniques will you use with this patient?

Etiquette is critical in building trust and rapport with a patient. The use of body language, gestures and verbal communication consistent with the Lebanese cultural communication etiquette will be essential. Some of the communication techniques I will use will include non-verbal communication, being mindful and respectful, using direct language, active listening, avoiding confrontations and using humour (Moghnieh, 2023).

Consider how all the data you have collected about this culture would translate into treating a patient from this culture. Remember to clarify in your writing that you will treat the patient as an individual while using your cultural understanding as a guide, not as a path to judgment.

The data collected about Lebanese culture will be essential in effectively delivering healthcare to Lebanese patients. Given my cultural competency in the Lebanese culture, I will be able to provide adequate healthcare. My cultural competency will enable me to build trust and rapport with dental patients. Besides, it will help me improve patient communication and interaction, avoid stereotypes, address health disparities and increase patient satisfaction (Perry, 2002). In a nutshell, cultural competency will enable me to provide high-quality healthcare in a mindful, respectful manner, using a collectivist treatment approach.

Conclusion:

I will demonstrate cultural competency by being sensitive to Lebanese cultural beliefs, values, and practices. Secondly, I will incorporate these cultural aspects into the treatment plan. Thirdly, I will acknowledge the patient’s cultural beliefs, appreciate cultural diversity, use appropriate communication techniques, adapt treatment plans, avoid cultural stereotypes and incorporate cultural aspects in the treatment plan.

References

Abou-mrad, F., & Tarabey, L. (2014). Healthcare quality in a fragmented society: the Lebanese model. Neurological Sciences, 35(2), 179-83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-013-1473-y

Fawaz, L. (2002). Lebanon: The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon. The Middle East Journal, 56(1), 161-162. https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/lebanon-culture-sectarianism-community- history/docview/218521045/se-2

Gelvin, J. L. (2002). The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Lebanon. The American Historical Review, 107(1), 315- 316. https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/culture-sectarianism-community- history-violence/docview/199874388/se-2

Kazarian, S. S. (2005). Family Functioning, Cultural Orientation, and Psychological Well-Being Among University Students in Lebanon. The Journal of Social Psychology, 145(2), 141- 52. https://doi.org/10.3200/SOCP.145.2.141-154

Moghnieh, L. (2023). Global Mental Health in South Lebanon: Psychoeducation, Translation, and Culture. Medical Anthropology, 42(1), 105-119. https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2022.2129023

Perry, M. (2002). Ecological Health Movement in Lebanon: An Overview of Alternative Culture in a Developing Country. Journal of Ecological Anthropology, 6(1), 50-68. https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/ecological-health-movement-lebanon- overview/docview/208684463/se-2

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