Health & Personal Care
Addressing cultural diversity across all health and personal care services will assist you to provide culturally appropriate care that acknowledges and respects the integrity of each person.
Culturally appropriate health and personal care is person-centred care that supports individual cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs.
The first step in the provision of culturally appropriate care is to address issues around language and communication. Effective communication ensures the provision of accurate and appropriate care, facilitates care recipient participation in health decisions, and helps to establish a meaningful therapeutic relationship between staff and care recipients.
The cultural and spiritual needs of care recipients must also be identified and supported across all health and personal care services. Culturally appropriate care necessitates an awareness of the cultural and religious factors that can influence the way care recipients respond to illness, ageing and health care.
An understanding of the different cultural and religious practices around these events will assist in the provision of culturally appropriate health and personal care. However, as with all care services, it is always important to identify individual needs and preferences.
- Ensure all health and personal care plans and reviews identify and support the cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs of care recipients.
- Use professional interpreting services when health and personal care plans are developed and reviewed, and whenever informed consent is required.
- Provide information about health and personal care services - including information on specific procedures that may be unfamiliar to care recipients - in the preferred language of care recipients and their families.
- Consult care recipients and their families regarding the influence of culture and religion on health and personal care services.
- Consult care recipients and their families regarding whether or not open discussion of diagnosis and prognosis is appreciated - and balance this with legal requirements around issues of informed consent.
- Establish the cultural and religious impact on the acceptability of certain treatments and medications.
- Ensure family members' role in decision-making about care has been clearly established and documented.
- Ensure an effective communication strategy is in place to address medical and other emergencies for care recipients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- Consider the cultural, linguistic and spiritual needs of care recipients when referrals are made to external health service providers, and ensure they use accredited interpreting services as required.
- Provide care recipients with a choice of bilingual health practitioners and pharmacists where possible.
- Support your care recipients' right to access complimentary or traditional therapies, and assist them to make informed choices.
- Ensure staff responsible for the provision of health and personal care have been trained in cultural awareness, appropriate communication and the correct use of telephone and on-site interpreting services.
Additional Resources and Links
Use our National Resources Search for additional resources and links including resources developed under the Community Partners Program (CPP) and the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Initiative.