International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2020-07-01)

Perspectives of Health Care Providers on the Role of Culture in the Self-Care of Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: A Qualitative Interview Study

  • Adam Jönsson,
  • Emilie Cewers,
  • Tuvia Ben Gal,
  • Jean Marc Weinstein,
  • Anna Strömberg,
  • Tiny Jaarsma

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17, no. 5051
p. 5051


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Background: Self-care is important in chronic diseases such as heart failure. The cultural background of health care providers might influence their view on self-care behaviour and education they provide. The aim of this study was to describe health care providers’ perceptions of the role of culture in self-care and how those perceptions shape their experiences and their practices. Methods: A qualitative study was performed in Israel, a country with a culturally diverse population. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 12 healthcare providers from different cultural backgrounds. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis. Results: Healthcare providers experienced cultural background influenced their patients’ self-care behaviour. Perceived culture-specific barriers to self-care such as dietary traditions interfering with the recommended diet, willingness to undertake self-care and beliefs conflicting with medical treatment were identified. Healthcare providers described that they adapted patient education and care based on the cultural background of the patients. Shared cultural background, awareness and knowledge of differences were described as positively influencing self-care education, while cultural differences could complicate this process. Conclusions: Cultural-specific barriers for self-care were perceived by health care providers and they identified that their own cultural background shapes their experiences and their practices.