Heritage Assessment for Three Different Families

HeritageAssessment for Three Different Families

HeritageAssessment for Three Different Families

Heritageassessment has become a significant process in the health care sectorgiven the fact that globalization and free movement of people haveresulted in multicultural societies. Heritage assessment refers to atool that is used by health care professionals to evaluate themental, physical, and spiritual beliefs (Schmidt &amp Owens, 2012).The assessment helps in the determination of traditional methods ofhealth delivery, which include health protection, health maintenance,and health restoration. A well conducted heritage assessment alsoprovides a pathway for an effective communication between the healthcare providers and their clients. The concept of heritage assessmentis based on the notion that each individual has a different culturalbackground, which can hinder health delivery in the absence ofcareful heritage assessment. The primary objective of heritageassessment is to find out the identity of the patients by determiningtheir inherited traditions. This paper provides the analysis of theheritage assessment for three families from different culturalbackgrounds with a focus on common health traditions and theusefulness of the assessment in developing plans for healthprotection, health maintenance, and health restoration.

Usefulnessof applying heritage assessment in evaluating the needs of families

Cultureserves as the foundation of social advancement and distinctiveness.However, the type of distinctiveness caused by culture createsdifferences that interfere with the process of effective delivery ofhealthcare in multicultural society. Heritage assessment bridgesthese culture-based differences, which in turn improved healthoutcomes. By eliminating the cultural differences, heritageassessment leads to three major benefits in a multicultural healthcare setting. First, heritage assessment leads to improved healthcare outcome by giving the health care professionals an opportunityprovide effective care to their patients. According to Ora (2008)heritage assessment improves provides’ cultural competence, whichin turn enhances the quality of health care. Secondly, heritageassessment leads to the delivery of respectful health care sincehealth care providers are enabled to take account of preferences,values, and ensure that the expressed health needs of clients aremet. Third, heritage assessment improves the health care providers’linguistic competence, thus increasing their capacity to address thehealth needs of people from different cultural backgrounds.

Commonhealth traditions in the three families

Thereare four possible health traditions that are common in the threefamilies interviewed in this study and which the health careproviders should be aware in order to help them deliver quality andpatient-centered care. First, an extended family plays a key role inthe lives of members of the families interviewed. From the heritageassessment tool, all the interviewees maintained close contact withfamily members (including aunts, cousins, and uncles) other than themembers of the nuclear family. This implies that the honor and theinterest of the extended family might be perceived in the threefamilies to be more important than the interest of an individualperson looking for health care. This suggests that it would be moreappropriate for the health care providers to consult some key familymembers when making certain health-related decisions.

Secondly,it is possible that the families of the persons interviewed in thepresent study apply contemporary synergies when making health-relateddecisions. The three interviewees said that they prepare food oftheir ethnic background. This suggests that the families of theinterviewed persons might have the tendency to use traditional foodsto restore yin balance and go for the western medicine only if thetraditional measures fail. The health care providers should awarethat such patients might fail to inform them about their reliance onhome remedies should they suspect that health care professionalsmight disapprove those traditional remedies.

Third,there is a possibility that three interviewees might believe inalternative health care, such as the dance therapy. They all agreethat they take part in ethnic activities, including dancing,festivals, and holiday celebrations. The emphasis these ethnicactivities indicates that they value their use in enhancingemotional, cognitive, and physical development.

Thethree family members interviewed in the present study were born inthe United States, but their parents and grandparents were born inother countries before migrating into the United States. Thissuggests that the three interviewees subscribe to their currenthealth traditions and practices by way of inheritance. This isbecause it would be expected that the interviewees who were all bornin the United States would adhere to the health practices of thepeople of the United States since they were born and have group upwith the people of the United States. However, it is evident thattheir parents have succeeded in transferring some of theirtraditional beliefs and values to their children.


Healthmaintenance is one of the key elements of heritage assessment, whichdeals with disease prevention and health promotion instead of illnessand symptom management (Nunnery, 2012). Health maintenance focuses onthe basic mental, spiritual, and physical needs. Interviewees of thethree families have several practices that might act as diseaseprevention strategies. For example, all of them do dancing andsinging, which are therapeutic strategies that maintains theirhealth. The health care providers should focus on enlightening theinterviewees on the formal methods of health maintenance, includingcounseling and screening.


Healthprotection includes the use of customs, special food, and ritualsthat are intended to improve the health of an individual (Nunnery,2012). In the case of the three interviewees, it is evident thattheir use of traditional foods and attendance to activities organizedby their ethnic groups are some of the cultural strategies they adoptto protect their bodies for illnesses. This prevents the occurrenceof diseases instead of waiting to cure diseases that have alreadyoccurred.


Healthrestoration includes holistic remedies meant for the mind, body, andthe spirit (Nunnery, 2012). This implies that the health restorativeactivities are restores the health of an individual in its entirety.In the case of the three interviewees, all of them engage inactivities (such as dancing and eating traditional foods) thataddress the well being of their body and their mind such as singing),but only two of them are committed to their spiritual growth bypracticing their religion at home. The health care professional canassist such patients by addressing the missing restorativeactivities.


Heritageassessment is an important exercise that enhances the culturalcompetence of health care providers, thus increasing their capacityto give quality and patient-centered service. Heritage assessmentmainly focuses on health maintenance, health restoration, and healthprotection. This is mainly achieved by bridging the culturaldifferences and help the health care providers understand culturalvalues and beliefs of the client, which are different from their own.In essence, heritage assessment has three benefits, including animproved health care outcome, delivery of respective health care, andimproved linguistic competence of the health care providers.


Ora,M. (2008). Besthealth outcomes for Maori: Practice.Wellington: Medical Council of New Zealand.

Nunnery,R. (2012). Advancingyour career: Concepts of professional nursing.Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.

Schmidt,A. &amp Owens, L. (2012). Heritageassessment: Developing cultural competency for the geriatricpopulation.Little Rock, AR: Arkansas Geriatric Education Center.