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Journal of Nursing Research and Practice

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Effects of different cultures on child health

Author(s): Sumeyye Yildiz*, Ebru Kilicarslan Toruner and Naime Altay

Introduction: Health is influenced by culture which is a dynamic factor as well as biological and environmental factors. Health practices are the outcome of health beliefs generally originated from the culture of individual. Cultural practices of families are directly related with the child health.

Aim: The aim of this study was to review the evidences based on the literature regarding the effects of different cultures on child health.

Method: In this brief literature review, studies especially conducted in the recent five years were examined by using the key words “child”, “culture”, “care”, “nursing”, “health”, “religion”, and “belief” on Google Scholar, Google E-Library, PubMed, SAGE Journals databases.

Findings: In the studies examined within the scope of research, it was established that factors such as culture, religion/belief, genetic factors, geographical region, educational level, immigration, and family structure influence the child health. It was determined that families reflect the cultural and spiritual values on the health practices and seek the solution of health problems in these values. According to the beliefs of four major religions, it was found that child health and healthcare practices are influenced in various aspects. It was determined that cultural values of child and family and their geographical region differ from the perception and belief of health and disease, pain-suffering and reflection on the care practices. Since cultural structure of child and family is directly related with health and well-being level, nursing care practices are detailed, and care programs are developed according to holistic and transcultural model.

Conclusion: Different cultures and religious practices influence the child health and care practices. Nurses should be careful with the dimension of reflections of child and family’s cultural practices and beliefs on health.

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