Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence


Healthcare professionals should be aware of the beliefs, norms, and values of their patients. This means that they should have adequate cultural competencies in order to offer exemplary and timely medical services to them. This paper provides a detailed literature review on healthcare providers and Hinduism from the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence.

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Literature Review

The Purnell Model for Cultural Competence is a circle with four rings. The outer one represents the wider global society while the next one portrays the surrounding community. The third ring depicts the family and the inner one focuses on the targeted person (Abitz, 2016). The center of the circle has wedges that represent 12 unique cultural concepts and domains. These constructs offer a conceptual framework that can be used by healthcare workers to understand their values, behaviors, beliefs, or attitudes and apply them efficiently to offer cultural competence services.

Medical professionals providing care to Hindus begin by understanding their values such as rebirth and karma. They also believe that all thoughts or actions will be carried to the next stage of life after death. They also embrace the idea of reincarnation of the soul. Using the Purnell Model, practitioners can analyze the views and thoughts of these individuals and encourage family members to be part of the healing process. Laher (2014) indicates that Hindu believers are viewed as combinations of souls, bodies, and minds in the context of cultures, surrounding environments, and families. A culturally competent caregiver will focus on the needs of the wider society or family and those of the targeted patient.

The concept of Suddha (purity) is taken seriously by Hindus. This value encourages practitioners to use a holistic approach when providing medical care. This means that nurses will focus on the best or perfect state of the soul. The idea of personal cleanliness is also pursued by practitioners. Physicians should focus on practices such as the consumption of cold and hot foods when in hospital (Abitz, 2016). The ultimate objective is to ensure that the body’s energy equilibrium is maintained.

The Purnell Model guides practitioners to form multidisciplinary teams throughout the care delivery process. Such an approach brings together family members, elders, religious leaders, health care workers, and friends. Hindu patients tend to allow their relatives to make the most appropriate medical decisions for them. Prayers and rituals such as fasting should be encouraged since they are believed to influence the intended health outcome positively. Faith healers can be involved when the targeted illness is caused by or associated with evil spirits (Laher, 2014). When death is unavoidable, the patient’s family members should be allowed to stay near him or her.

When using this model, practitioners can link all critical aspects of culture and facilitate the provision of competent and high-quality medical services. The theory also empowers healthcare workers to view Hindu patients or families within their cultural and global environments (Laher, 2014). They also encourage members of this religion to engage in rituals, prayers, and practices that can improve the health delivery process.


The above literature review has explained how different health care workers use Purnell Model for Cultural Competence to offer high-quality medical care to Hindus. When every patient is appraised using a systematic approach, it becomes possible to deliver personalized and improved services. Practitioners should, therefore, use the above model to develop an effective philosophy that can make them culturally competent.

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Abitz, T. L. (2016). Cultural congruence and infusion nursing practice. The Art and Science of Infusion Nursing, 39(2), 75-79. Web.

Laher, S. (2014). An overview of illness conceptualizations in African, Hindu, and Islamic traditions: Towards cultural competence. South African Journal of Psychology, 44(2), 191-204. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, July 24). Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence. Retrieved from

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"Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence." StudyCorgi, 24 July 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence." July 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence." July 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence." July 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Healthcare for Hindus: Purnell Model for Cultural Competence'. 24 July.

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