Transcultural Resources

October 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm

With increasingly diverse patient populations and greater emphasis on patient-centered care, professional and student nurses as well as other healthcare providers require information pertaining to transcultural care.  Information needs span across various aspects of cultural competency from direct patient care issues, to gaining an understanding of broad concepts addressed in educational settings, to creation of health promotion programs, organizational policy development, and so on.

Key information resources in the Mayo Clinic Libraries collection are printed materials which provide overviews of major cultural groups.  These useful tools are intended to increase awareness and knowledge of culturally-based health beliefs and practices and common ethnic/race-specific diseases.  An important caveat when referring to such resources is to avoid stereotyping based on generalizations.  Individualized assessment is always essential and approaches to care should be adapted to the patient’s and family’s own situation and perspectives.

Examples of especially handy resources are:

Cultural sensitivity : A pocket guide for health care professionals, Joint Commission Resources, c2012.

This concise guide presents core patterns that may improve understanding of patients’ culturally-driven expectations. It also explores concepts such as time orientation and lists fundamental questions to ask patients.  [additional external information]

This quick reference uses the Purnell Model as a framework for culturally relevant patient assessment.  Chapters contain information on communication, family roles, traditional spiritual/religious orientations, common dietary practices, pregnancy and childbearing practices, death rituals, and health-related practices. [additional external information]

Other tools include the CINAHL and PubMed databases for locating relevant articles in the allied health and medical journal literature. Subject terms to help target search results in both databases encompass different ethnic/population groups, cultural competence/competency, and cultural diversity. CINAHL also has special subject headings for cultural sensitivity, cultural values, transcultural care and transcultural nursing.  A librarian can work with you to formulate expert search strategies.

Also, the Mayo Clinic Libraries have created online subject guides for easy browsing of books, articles, multimedia, and websites:

Specifically recommended guides include:

Transcultural Patient Care – (Mayo only)

Transcultural Aspects of Religion – (Mayo only)

Please contact Colonial Library Services (; 266-7425) for assistance, questions, and/or suggestions.

Dana Gerberi
Colonial Library Services

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