Transcultural nursing, a term sometimes used interchangeablywith cross-cultural, intercultural,
or multicultural nursing, refers to a formal area of study and practice that
focuses on the cultural care (caring) values, beliefs, and practices of
individuals and groups from a particular culture (Giger & Davidhizar,
1999). The underlying focus of transcultural nursing is to provide
cul-ture-specific and culture-universal care that promotes the well-being or
health of individuals, families, groups, communities, and institutions (Giger
& Davidhizar, 1999; Leininger, 2001). When culturally appropriate care is
provided, all individuals, and the community or institution at large, benefit.
When the care is de-livered beyond the nurse’s national boundaries, the term
inter-national or transnational nursing is often used.
Although many nurses,
anthropologists, and others have writ-ten about the cultural aspects of nursing
and health care, Leininger (2001) developed a comprehensive research-based
the-ory called Culture Care Diversity and Universality. The goal of the theory
is to provide culturally congruent nursing care to improve care for people of
different or similar cultures. This means promoting recovery from illness,
preventing conditions that would limit the patient’s health or well-being, or
facilitating a peaceful death in ways that are culturally meaningful and
ap-propriate. Nursing care needs to be tailored to fit the patient’s cultural
values, beliefs, and lifestyle.
Leininger’s theory includes providing culturally congruent nursing care
(meaningful, beneficial, and satisfying health care tailored to fit the
patient’s cultural values) through culture care accommodation and culture care
restructuring (Fig. 8-1). Cul-ture care
accommodation refers to those professional actions anddecisions that a
nurse makes in his or her care to help people of a designated culture achieve a
beneficial or satisfying health out-come. Culture
care restructuring or repatterning refers to those professional actions and
decisions that help patients reorder, change, or modify their lifestyles toward
new, different, or more beneficial health care patterns. At the same time, the
patient’s cultural values and beliefs are respected, and a better or health-ier
lifestyle is provided. Other terms and definitions that pro-vide further
insight into culture and health care include the following:
· Acculturation is the process by which members of a
culturalgroup adapt to or learn how to take on the behaviors of an-other group.
· Cultural blindness is the inability of a person to recognize
hisor her own values, beliefs, and practices and those of others because of
strong ethnocentric tendencies (the tendency to view one’s own culture as
superior to others).
· Cultural imposition is the tendency to impose one’s culturalbeliefs,
values, and patterns of behavior on a person or per-sons from a different
· Cultural taboos are those activities governed by rules of be-havior that are avoided,
forbidden, or prohibited by a par-ticular cultural group.