Cultural Barriers to Care: Inverting the Problem

  1. Toni Tripp-Reimer, PhD, RN, FAAN,
  2. Eunice Choi, DNSc, RN, CS,
  3. Lisa Skemp Kelley, MA, RN and
  4. Janet C. Enslein, MA, RN


    In Brief

    In working with diverse populations, health practitioners often view patients’ culture as a barrier to care. Inverting this problem by viewing the barriers as arising from the culture of biomedicine provides greater direction for practice. Integral to the delivery of culturally appropriate diabetes care are practitioner competencies in specific areas of cultural knowledge, as well as specific skills in intercultural communication, tripartite cultural assessment, selecting among levels of intensity of cultural interventions (neutral, sensitive, innovative, or transformative), adapting patient education, and developing community partnerships.


    • Toni Tripp-Reimer, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a professor of nursing and anthropology and Associate Dean for Research; Eunice Choi, DNSc, RN, CS, is a postdoctoral fellow; Lisa Skemp Kelley, MA, RN, is a doctoral candidate and predoctoral fellow; and Janet C. Enslein, MA, RN, is a doctoral student at the University of Iowa College of Nursing in Iowa City, Iowa.

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