Health And Medicine

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Health and Medicine

Health and Medicine

Article Selected: “Effects of race on cultural justifications for caregiving”. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, vol. 59 , p. S138-S145. (2005).

Authors: Dilworth-Anderson, P., Brummett, B. H., Goodwin, P., Williams, S. W., Williams, R. B., & Siegler, I. C.

Article Critique

The article “Effects of race on cultural justifications for caregiving” is an informative work on the subject of health care facilities available to African Americans families in the 21st century. It explains that health care professionals and researchers know that African American families, similar to families of other racial or ethnic groups, are involved in providing and/or managing health for ill or disabled family members. It is also widely accepted that African American family members influence and are influenced by the health of their ill or disabled family members. The family helps to define the illness and/or health-related experience, navigate the medical system, and make medical choices. The family's involvement in these tasks can improve the health of the ill or disabled family member. Conversely, involvement in these health-related tasks can affect the physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual health of the family.

It further explains that African American families are embedded in racial, cultural, and environmental contexts that can influence attributions of health-related symptoms, decision making, access and choice of healthy foods, and access and choice of medical interventions and health care in general. While families throughout the life course influence or are influenced by the health of family members, this entry focuses on African American families and health-related influences when a middle-aged and/or older family member has a chronic illness or disability. For many chronic illnesses and disabilities, including diabetes, cancer, strokes, dementia, and HIV/AIDS, African American adults experience some of the highest disability and mortality rates. Further complicating health and health care interactions are experiences of racial prejudice in the history, cultural memory, and present experiences of many African Americans and other people of color. As a result of these and other structural and personal experiences, African Americans often express distrust toward the health care system.

Moreover, this article enlightens that this distrust can affect health care experiences and interactions. For example, when adults suffer from a life threatening or serious chronic disability or illness, for instance stroke or cancer related disability, the family and individual repeatedly come across a staggering amount of health information, medical details, clinical decisions that are required to be made. Thus, effectual communication between ...
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