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Influence of Cultural Beliefs on Health Behaviors and Use of Health Services

Cultural Beliefs

When we study different cultures and try to understand different cultural situations, we learn the people’s beliefs on health and of different areas. As we move from one culture to different cultures we have in mind that there is something good in every culture, which means that cultures differ from other cultures and it is not necessarily wrong. In order to understand different cultures, we need to understand their different beliefs, which differ from culture to culture, and keeping that in mind brings upon meaningful change. These cultural beliefs can be divided into three different criteria; helpful, harmful, or neither helpful nor harmful. We have to carefully access each belief by keeping in mind these different criteria, which will help us, give our responses, and will result in well-orientated research from which actions will take place (Traditional beliefs and health problems, 1, n.d).

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Health Behaviors

Health outcomes can majorly be affected by health behaviors. There are positive as well as negative effects on human behavior. Exercising and eating sensibly realizing that can reduce risk factors such as heart diseases and diabetes which is all due to health behaviors. There can be a negative effect on human behavior such as smoking and excessive drinking which may lead to lung cancer and liver diseases; such effect on human behavior is known as unhealthy behaviors. Due to positive effects mortality rates have decreased in the past few years. There has been a gradual decline in smoking and drinking due to health behavior. Remarkably the blood pressure and cholesterol have also improved in recent years (Trends in Health Behaviors and Health Outcomes, 1, n.d).

Health Services

Health services help to promote a safe and healthy environment for humans. These services are provided through the establishment of clinics, hospitals, labs and home & emergency medical response systems. These systems must be of good quality, efficient, cost-effective, and developed of meeting all the health needs of the people. Health services should provide people with services that are beneficial, reliable, and affordable for humans. The most important health service is to be safe and be available when and where needed. Co-ordination is also needed to provide the public with appropriate services according to their needs. The use of these health services is to protect human life and lead a healthy life. These health services are being used in hospitals, clinics, and other health institutes just for providing health aid to the people (Health Services, 1, n.d).

Influence of Cultural Beliefs over the Health Behavior

Culture provides people with different ways of living and it also encompasses the broad topic of health and health care. People do have cultural beliefs regarding health and health care. Every culture does have some concepts regarding health conditions and different health problems and then the remedies for these problems. Cultural concepts and beliefs can affect health care both in positive as well as in negative ways. Different cultures have different beliefs that can be a hindrance in the way of health care. For example, there are few cultures that believe that raw food should be taken during the condition of illness which is obviously good for health while on the other hand there are cultures that consider it harmful for the health to take raw food during the illness. It is not a good concept that the human responses towards health are judged by using cultural values. Although the cultural traditions can provide solutions for the disease and these remedies can be used for the treatment but it is not good to make cultural beliefs and avoid the other scientific ways of treatment. Human responses can change for different ways of treatments and can never be the same. Apart from cultural and traditional remedies, it is also necessary to provide professional treatment to the patient. For some people, the nature of treatment also depends on cultural values. Cultural beliefs and values can affect human health in many ways. Cultural beliefs regarding health, health care, health promotion, health protection are different from each other and are very much influenced by the culture in which these are residing. Different cultures like American, European American, African American, Asians, and Hispanics, and so on have different cultural values regarding health care. Some people do ignore the health services, which have been provided for the betterment of human health just because their cultural values and beliefs do not support these health services. In this regard, cultural beliefs sometimes affect the process of the betterment of human health. There are different health behaviors that can be found in different people like exercise, sleeping habits, eating habits, and so on. Cultural beliefs also affect the health behaviors and these health behaviors are affected in both positive and negative aspects. For example, in some cultures, there is no concept of exercise so they do not exercise just because it is not defined in their cultural belief which is obviously a negative aspect. On the other hand in many cultures, it is believed that sleeping early and waking up early in the morning is a good habit and if this belief is followed then obviously it is a positive point. Hence the cultural beliefs regarding human health and health behaviors have positive as well as negative impacts and the beliefs should be followed according to the health (White, 204, 2000).


This paper presents cultural beliefs and health care. Culture can be known as the identity of a person. Culture differs from one area to another and the culture basically presents the way people think and do things. There are many people who do not believe in following their culture but still, there are many people who do believe in their culture and also follow the cultural beliefs. The cultural beliefs also include beliefs regarding health care. Different cultures have different beliefs when it comes to health care. Although it is a fact that cultures provide sound remedies that are sometimes very much beneficial for health care but it does not happen always because the human response to the treatments is not always the same so other types of treatments should be taken. Cultural beliefs can affect human health to a large extent and the effects can be positive as well as negative. It is recommended that the result of any treatment differs from patient to patient so the treatment should be used according to the disease not according to the culture. The paper also discusses the health services that have been provided to the people in order to prevent themselves from different diseases. The purpose of health services is to promote a healthy environment. These services are for the betterment of human health and have been provided to hospitals, clinics, and other health institutes. Some cultures even do not believe in making use of such health services which is nothing but a misconception. So in short it can be concluded that cultural beliefs should be respected but health care should be taken properly.


  1. Lois White, Foundations of nursing: Caring for the whole person, Published by Cengage Learning (2000).
  2. Health Services (no date).
  3. Traditional Beliefs and Health Problems (no date).
  4. Influence on Cultural Beliefs (2003).
  5. Yu Xu, When East meets west: Cultural Values (2004).

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