Discussion: Temporal relationships Proxemics
Worldview Temporal relationships Proxemics Individualism Collectivism Fate versus free will Euthanasia Karma Ahimsa Advance directive Living will Durable power of attorney Biomedical worldview Mind–body integration
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After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
1. Explain what worldview means and how it is related to culture.
2. Describe at least three components of worldview that affect health.
3. Explain how worldview influences beginning- and end-of-life medical decisions.
4. Describe how worldview is related to how health is perceived and how problems are expressed.
A person’s worldview is closely linked to his or her cultural and religious background, and it has profound implications for health care. Worldview influences lifestyle, and it is imperative that health care professionals understand its impact on health care decisions, involve patients in decisions and actions, and accommodate patients’ beliefs to provide congruent care.
This chapter begins with a discussion of worldview, particularly in terms of time, personal space, individual autonomy, free will, and fate, and explains how these major components relate to health care. Then we move into more specific ways that worldview affects medical decisions and how people perceive and respond to illness.
Worldview A worldview is a set of cultural assumptions and beliefs that express how people see, interpret, and explain their experience (Tilbert, 2010). It helps us make sense of our lives. Worldview includes our relationships with nature, our social relationships, our ethical reasoning, and cosmology (study of the universe and humanity’s place) (Purnell, 2013). It even affects our view of aesthetics. For example, most of us know that sun exposure contributes to skin cancer, but some cultures view tans as healthy whereas others see very white skin as beautiful (e.g., the Japanese culture), which is why skin lightening is done.Culture fits within the larger structure of worldviews. Worldviews are the beliefs and assumptions by which an individual can make sense of experiences, and these are what culture is built upon. Cultural groups have varied views of the world, and when they clash, people may find the behavior of others offensive or confusing. Some of the prominent variances in worldviews include health beliefs, orientation toward time, use of space, social and family organization, and communication.
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