A cultural approach to health care providers is one of the most important elements that ensure improved patient outcomes. There are various nursing theories that define culturally-competent qualities and strategies to assist patients with their needs. This paper focuses on the use of the model developed by Giger and Davidhizar in managing African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer. The topic match proposal is caused by the relevance of the identified topic in the modern world as well as the growth rates of breast cancer, which makes the issue critical.
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According to statistics, breast cancer is a leading oncological disease in many countries around the world. Annually, more than 1,500,000 new cases of pathology are detected, of which approximately 550,000 results in death (WHO, 2018). Breast cancer represents a serious medical, and social problem as the incidence rate is constantly increasing. It is worth noting that breast cancer or, more precisely, the incidence and prevalence rates increase yearly. In this regard, the application of cultural competence seems to be a rather feasible decision. The American researchers, in particular, Geiger and Davidhizar, suggest considering six sociocultural parameters that are characteristic to every cultural group and influencing intercultural communication (as cited in Shen, 2015). Among these elements, there are environmental control, biological variations, social organization, communication, space, and time orientation (Giger, 2016). The application of the above dimensions to nursing practice assists in identifying a patient’s cultural background.
Aim/Purpose and Research Method
The pivotal aim of this paper is to explore the role of the transcultural assessment model by Geiger and Davidhizar in approaching African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer. The purpose of the mentioned model is to evaluate patients based on their cultural peculiarities and consider these issues while deciding on the treatment and follow-up procedures. To achieve the stated goals, a qualitative research method will be applied, and the corresponding data will be collected from the recent scholarly literature.
Review of Literature
The transcultural approach to nursing services with regard to the identified population is an essential part of care. The study by Karabudak, Tas, and Basbakkal (2013) develops a case study in the Turkish environment, focusing on a patient who was hospitalized with kidney failure. Applying the transcultural assessment model, the authors reveal the patient’s attitudes, beliefs, and cultural heritage. Namely, it was identified that the patient has no distinctive language specifics, and he rarely uses non-verbal communication. The mother of the patient refers to personal space as she touched the nurse without asking about it (Karabudak et al., 2013). As for such cultural dimension as social organization, the mother believes that it is God’s destiny that caused her child’s disease, and so do the patient. The study shows that the family considers that this disease is a trial of God, while external control tools such as amulets are used to address kidney failure. The examination of biological variation reflects that the above disease is characteristic to the family due to consanguineous marriage patterns.
The role of the transcultural model is also discussed in other scholarly works. For example, the literature review performed by Shen (2015) specifies the importance of cultural competence as one of the key premises of continuous and evolutionary care. Viewing this competence as a continuum, Giger and Davidhizar offer a methodological approach to paying attention to patients’ cultural backgrounds (as cited in Shen, 2015). Even though the majority of the theoretical frameworks are abstract, the one identified above seems to be quite focused since it clearly determines the areas to be assessed.
It goes without saying that African-American women have a peculiar set of beliefs, traditions, views regarding the environment, and time orientation. In addition, the evidence shows that they are more prone to developing certain diseases. Danforth (2013) mentions health disparities with regard to both nonbiological and biological factors. The author discusses the trends in breast cancer and concludes that young African-American females are at a higher risk of breast cancer and have more destructive tumors compared to white women (Danforth, 2013). Such a disparity is explained by differences in chromosomal abnormalities, growth factor receptor content, and some other cancer genes. The cultural factors that as cofounding to breast cancer are beliefs that adequate health care cannot be provided to African-Americans and that it is God’s trial when they fall ill.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Based on the findings discussed above, the application of the transcultural assessment model seems to be a relevant tool to examine patients in terms of the culturally competent approach. Specifically, to providing care to the target population, their attitudes to God, time, space orientation, and others should be taken into account. Consistent with Shen (2015), one may claim that this model may be useful to address health disparity associated with breast cancer as more patient-oriented care will promote early diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment.
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The principle of equality that may be ensured by means of this model is another implication for nursing practice. Namely, nurses may use this theory to understand their patients’ expectations and health needs better, thus improving their health outcomes. It should also be stressed that the transcultural model can be applied to a patient of any ethnicity or race, which makes it a valuable option to practice cultural competence. While the focus on diversity is especially important in the US context, nurses are likely to promote it with the help of the mentioned model. The interventions introduced on the basis of the transcultural assessment model seem to be more effective compared to a traditional approach to care.
To conclude, this paper revealed that the application of the transcultural assessment model elaborated by Giger and Davidhizar is an instrument that provides the opportunity to address health disparities. The dimensions of culture included in the model allow considering a patient’s views, beliefs, time perception, and so on. It was suggested that African-American women who are at a high risk of breast cancer would benefit from this model as it provides culturally-competent care.
Danforth, D. N. (2013). Disparities in breast cancer outcomes between Caucasian and African American women: A model for describing the relationship of biological and nonbiological factors. Breast Cancer Research, 15(3), 208-221.
Giger, J. N. (2016). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Karabudak, S. S., Tas, F., & Basbakkal, Z. (2013). Giger and Davidhizar’s transcultural assessment model: A case study in Turkey. Health Science Journal, 7(3), 342-345.
Shen, Z. (2015). Cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments in nursing: A literature review. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(3), 308-321.
WHO. (2018). Breast cancer. Web.