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"The information that I gained from these modules has completely changed my thinking on how palliative care can be used and integrated into the care and management of my patients with symptomatic chronic disease and not reserved only for the end of their life."


Continuing Education » Module 7 Overview

Module 7: Cultural Influence on Advanced Disease Management

  • Crystal Dea Moore, PhD, MSW
  • Helen M. Taggart, DSN, RN, ACNS-BC

Module Seven Overview

When the patient is diagnosed with a life-limiting disease, individual healthcare should be tailored to disease management and symptom burden reduction. The patient's cultural values and beliefs will impact their decision making regarding treatment preferences. Likewise, the cultural attitudes and values expressed by the nurse will have an impact on the choices offered and how the patient perceives these options - which can result in an underutilization of care. Underutilization of care can occur in a setting that lacks cultural and linguistic competence among the healthcare team (Richardson, MacLeod, & Kent, 2012; Spencer & Burke, 2011). Cultural competency for the nurse is an essential key to access and delivery of quality care when addressing the multifaceted needs of patients and their families when facing a life-limiting disease. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report entitled Unequal Treatment (Smedly, Smith & Nelson, 2003), identified the importance of cross-cultural training for all healthcare providers to decrease miscommunication, improve the health care needs of a growing diverse population, and to enhance the understanding of patients' cultural beliefs when developing culturally congruent care practices.

Module Seven Objectives

Upon the completion of this module, the reader will be able to:

  1. Identify one's own cultural significance in relationship to others;
  2. Develop an understanding of the concept and characteristics of culture, and its effects on advanced disease and palliative care;
  3. Recognize religious and spiritual beliefs, family structures and healthcare preferences for various cultural groups;
  4. Identify important areas of nursing assessment when gathering cultural information on patients and their families.

Average Test Duration: 1.0 hr

  1. Begin Cultural Influence on Advanced Disease
    Management Module
  2. Take Test