Health literacy is another important factor to consider in the case of Lia Lee. There is considerable evidence of the Lee’s having both low print and oral literacy. The Lee’s spoke very little English; they also were illiterate in both English and Hmong (Faidman, 1997). Another contributing factor to their health literacy was their beliefs about medicine. Because of the dissonance between the Lee’s beliefs and the American medical system, it was unclear if the Lee’s fully understood the cause of Lia’s epilepsy or the purpose of her prescribed medication. Their motivation to learn may also have been a factor; they believed they already knew what caused Lia’s epilepsy and what healing she needed. Faidman describes cases of successfully communicating western medical ideals with Hmong people, but Lia’s case is not an example of effective cross...
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..., Parboosingh, Taylor, & Deutschlander (2009). Suter, et al. found that, “...role understanding and effective communication clearly emerged as the dominant competencies for effective collaborative practice” (2009). I will incorporate those competencies by asking questions of team members to better understand their roles, and continually communicating with team members to ensure we are providing the best care to our clients.
By reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and the related research, I learned a lot about the importance of cultural competency, interprofessional practice, and health literacy as well as how those factors can affect health outcomes. I also discovered strategies to incorporate those factors into my own occupational therapy practice. I will remember this book and the lessons I learned from it as I begin work as an occupational therapist.
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