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Leininger’s Culture, Diversity and Universality Theory

Introduction

Culcture and cultural diversity can e considered burning issues of contemporary society. People often think about cultural differences and discuss this issue in public in order to draw more attention to the importance of the matter and necessity of evaluating and implementing it in different sectors of human activity. Nursing is one of the sectors where culture was not distinguished for a long time as an important factor while forming theoretical basis for training, teaching, and development of nursing knowledge and skills.

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Every time people require specific approach, they are told about universalism issues while theory of cultural relativism has an equal number of supporters in and outside the nursing area. Friedman, Bowden, and Jones (2003) analyze cultural relativism as one of the integral parts of the nursing practice (p. 220). The cultural approach is comparatively new but should be applied to the nursing practice, especially while approaching family nursing when families require specific measures to be taken.

Leininger’s Culture Care Theory

Applicability, feasibility, and use in advance practice nursing. The Leininger’s Culture Care Theory was designed by the author in an attempt to address the needs of all categories of population regarding their specific features and requirements. As indicated in the study by Zoucha (2007), Leininger and McFarland (2006) give a definition of cultural care as a set of values that becomes a distinctive feature of a person or group of people:

subjectively and objectively learned and transmitted values, beliefs, and patterned lifeways that assist, support, facilitate, or enable another individual or group to maintain health and well-being, to improve their human condition and lifeways, or to deal with illness, handicaps, or death (p. 135).

At the same time, cultural care should include a specific approach implemented in nursing to deal with culturally diverse families.

Applicability to culturally diverse families. Culturally congruent nursing is the basic anticipated outcome of implementing the cultural care and learning of cultural theories in nursing. The culturally diverse families can be addressed with regard to their needs and specific requirements in terms of cultural diversity. As reported by Sitzman and Eichelberger (2010), the cultural care theory focuses on cooperation of a nursing professional and a patient who generate a new approach applicable to the lifestyle of a patient with regard to his/her cultural peculiarities (p. 102).

Potential to generate a research base for advance practice nursing. The research base can be generated for advance practice nursing when the cultural care theory is applied to the nursing care in the most meaningful way including the theoretical framework and practical application of the theory.

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Strengths and weaknesses of the theory for use in the family nursing practice. The strengths of the theory for use in the family nursing practice include its feasibility and applicability. When a nurse demonstrates care to the patient and applies cultural approach while generating a model of nursing with regard to patient’s culture, this can be seen and perceived. As claimed in the study by Leininger and McFarland (2006), “the central domain of the theory was focused on culture and care relationships” (p. 5). So, the culture and care relationships can be considered the main areas of difficulties of weaknesses of the theory because most nurses consider their work and professional duties as care from the very beginning without implementing the concept of care into practice.

Diversity and Universality Theory

Applicability, feasibility, and use in advance practice nursing. The applicability of diversity theory is a rather new concept while the universality theory was practiced for a long time due to equality principles promoted on the national and international level. The feasibility of the universality theory can be assessed when the same treatment is provided to people of different age groups with different patient history, and different systems of beliefs and values. The diversity theory can be seen and assessed when a patient receives nursing services with regard to his/her personal needs and cultural peculiarities.

Applicability to culturally diverse families. Culturally diverse families can benefit from application of diversity theories but can also be provided with nursing care in accordance with established universality approaches. In this respect, Dayer-Berenson (2009) reviewed the cultural relativism issues in nursing especially with regard to moral and ethical standards (p. 113).

Potential to generate a research base for advance practice nursing. The advance practice nursing can be potentially generated on the basis of cultural relativity theory rather than on universalism theory. However, universalism theory can be applied in cases when any type of nursing services would be welcomed; for instance, intensive care units may benefit from application of the universalist approach.

Strengths and weaknesses of the theory for use in the family nursing practice. The strengths of the universality and relativity theory include possibility to choose the one appropriate for specific cases and simplicity of assessment when using universality theory. The weaknesses include high-stress situations when it is impossible to use cultural relativity approach and impossibility to apply the universality approach to all patients in all nursing settings.

Conclusion

Though universality theories are rooted deep into the system of health care and nursing, it is possible to change the situation and shift priorities. The universality theories are more applicable to the situations of high stress when it is impossible to choose an approach or discuss it with the patient. However, cultural care theory finds wider application in family nursing when every family has specific culture, health care history, and beliefs that can be taken into account while choosing the nursing model.

Reference List

Dayer-Berenson, L. (2009). Cultural Competencies for nurses: Impact on health and illness. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Friedman, M. M., Bowden, V. R., and Jones, E. G. (2003). Family nursing: Research, theory, and practice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Leininger, M. M., & McFarland, M. R. (2006). Culture care diversity and universality: A worldwide nursing theory (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sitzman, K., & Eichelberger, L. W. (2010). Understanding the work of nurse theorists: A creative beginning (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Zoucha, R. (2007). Chapter 11: The utility of Leininger’s culture care theory with vulnerable populations. In M. De Chesnay (Ed.), Caring for the vulnerable: Perspectives in nursing theory, practice, and rese (pp. 135-140). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Leininger’s Culture, Diversity and Universality Theory." July 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/leiningers-culture-diversity-and-universality-theory/.

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