Hmong Health Issues

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This article reports the results of a study conducted to understand the Hmong (ethnic group from Southeast Asia) community’s perspectives on health, and how it affects their healthcare in relation to Western medicine. The study showed that Hmong individuals in general did not know the anatomy of the body and the functions of various organs, nor did many Western medical terms exist in their language to describe the physiology of the body. The study also found that the differences in understanding of health caused complex issues in the treatment of a Hmong patient. This study brought to light the different perspectives of health that individuals around the world carry. For instance, the story of the Hmong family who thought their relative was…show more content…
The author claims biomedicine is responsible for some of the ``uncertainty`` around the mental disorder, since individuals who are experiencing symptoms of depression may not know, or may dismiss, the fact they have a medical issue. Kleinman attributes this attitude to a lack of access to the appropriate services (Kleinman, 952). The author proposes strategies for clinicians to approach patients who are depressed, including taking into account the patient’s social environment, thereby invoking the social model of health. To support his argument, Kleinman uses information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, a resource organized by the National Institue of Health for mental healthcare practitioners (DSM-IV). This article discusses the negative impact of the biomedical model of health, using the example of how an individual with prolonged stages of grief and hopelessness does not perceive it as a health issue. Kleinman brings to light how medical practioners treat patients with depression, and recommends DSM-IV`s approach, which suggests inquiring about ethnic and cultural factors to learn more about how they can aid the patient. Reading this text raises the question about how many other health issues that individuals consider to be unimportant, and refrain from visiting a medical

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