Heritage Assessment An Assessment for Three Different Families

HeritageAssessment: An Assessment for Three Different Families

HeritageAssessment: An Assessment for Three Different Families

Theincrease in the rate of immigration at global level has resulted inthe establishment of multicultural societies. This calls for culturalcompetence among the health care providers to overcome the challengesemanating from cultural diversity. Heritage assessment is one of themost important tools used by the health care providers to evaluatethe physical, mental, and spiritual beliefs of their clients (Owens,2012). This helps in the determination of how these beliefs arelikely to influence individual’s interaction with the formal healthcare. In addition, an effective heritage assessment helps the healthcare professionals in determining the most appropriate traditionalapproaches of health care delivery, with the main focus on healthmaintenance, health protection, and health restoration. A properlyconducted heritage assessment results in the identification ofclients’ identity and inherited traditions that have an impact onthe delivery of health care services in a multicultural society. This paper will analyze the heritage assessment of three families.The paper will identify the common health traditions in the threefamilies and provide a discussion of the usefulness of the heritageassessment in the development of effective plans for healthmaintenance, health protection, and health restoration.

Usefulnessof applying heritage assessment

Healthcare providers, similar to their clients, are influenced bydifferences in cultural backgrounds. Heritage assessment is animportant tool that enhances cultural competence among the healthcare providers. Culturally competent health care providers are ableto acknowledge the existence of the distinctive beliefs and valuesbetween them and the clients (Owens, 2012). Heritage assessmentbridges the cultural differences between health care providers andtheir clients, which in turn enhances the process of health caredelivery amidst the challenges associated with multiculturalism.Cultural competence that is achieved through an effective heritageassessment benefits both the client and the health care providers.Heritage assessment benefits the health care providers by improvingtheir linguistic competence, which enhances their capacity tocommunicate effectively with their clients (Ora, 2008). Thisincreases the capacity of the health care providers to deliver healthcare services to clients from different cultural backgrounds. Clientsbenefit from an improvement in the outcome of the treatment process.This is based on the fact that heritage assessment enables the healthcare providers to take account of the values and preferences of theirclients, which ensures that providers address the specific needs oftheir clients.

Commonhealth traditions based on heritage assessment

Althoughdifferent people have varying heritage or cultural backgrounds, thereis a possibility for them to have common traditions that may affectthe process of health care delivery. In the present study, the threefamilies interviewed have three common traditions. First, althoughthe family members interviewed were either born in or came to theUnited States at tender age, they still use their native languageoccasionally or as the most preferred language. This means that thereis a high probability that the three families may describe healthproblems in the way they are understood in their native language. Insuch an instant the health professional should be aware of thepossibility of direct translation of the description of healthproblems from the native language to English. This is an importantaspect of heritage assessment that will create the desire for thehealth care provider to dig deeper by asking more questions insteadof relying on the description of some illnesses as stated by theclient.

Secondly,the families of the three interviewees are likely to hold onalternatives health care. This is indicated by the fact that they alltake an active part in ethnic activities, such as dancing andfestivals. A study shows that many communities are subscribing thebelief that dance is a form of therapy that modulates neurohormonesand enhance emotional response, especially among the patientssuffering from mild depression (Jeong, Lee &amp Kim, 2005). Thissuggests that the three families interviewed in the present study arelikely to be part of the patients who believe in dance and otherethnic practices as alternative sources of health care.

Third,members of the families interviewed in the present study prepare foodof their ethnic background, which suggests that they could be usingtradition meals to address different health problems. This means thatthe three families could be using traditional foods to restore healthbalance and use the formal or the western medicine in case thetraditional methods fail to work. Most importantly, health careprofessionals should take this aspect of nutritional therapy that isbased on traditional beliefs and practices. Culturally competenthealth care professionals should avoid disapproving the use oftraditional meals in order to ensure that the members of theinterviewed families cooperate by proving all information that isnecessary for the identification of their specific health problems.

Membersof the three families subscribed to health traditions and practicesdescribed in this paper through inheritance. The heritage assessmentindicates that the parents of all the family members interviewed werebrought up outside the United States. This suggests that the parentsacquired traditions and practices different from what is practiced inthe United States. In addition, the heritage assessment indicatesthat the respondents lived with their parents when they were growingup. This indicates that they inherited traditional health practicesfrom their parents who were in turn brought up outside the UnitedStates.


Healthmaintenance is a significant component of heritage assessment thatfocuses on prevention of the occurrence of the disease. This meansthat health maintenance involves proactive measures designed toprevent diseases instead of waiting for their symptoms to appear(Nunnery, 2012). This is achieved by addressing the spiritual,mental, and physical needs of clients. In the case of the interviewedfamilies, dancing and participation in traditional festivals areeffective methods of preventing illnesses (such as depression), thusmaintaining the health of the client in good condition. In this case,the health care professionals can intervene by providing members ofthe interviewed families with alternative methods of healthmaintenance (such as counseling) without disapproving theirtraditional methods.


Healthprotection is an element of heritage assessment that includes the useof special types of food or ritual practices to enhance the healthstatus of an individual (Nunnery, 2012). These practices reduce thechances for the occurrence of diseases. The three familiesinterviewed in the present study prepare food of their ethnic groups,which is a traditional method of health protection.


Healthrestoration is a heritage assessment concept that encompasses theholistic remedies that are designed for the spirit, the body, and themind (Nunnery, 2012). In the case of the interviewed families, thereare three things that can be classified as health restorativepractices. These factors include preparation of foods of ethnicbackgrounds, traditional festivals, and dancing. The combination ofthese factors can restore individual’s health holistically.However, there is a need for health care professionals to enlightenthe members of the interviewed families about the formal strategiesof health restoration.


Heritageassessment is a vital tool in the health care sector, especially forthe health care facilities operating in multicultural societies. Itis a tool that enhances the cultural competence of the health careproviders, thus enhancing their capacity to serve patients who comefrom different backgrounds from theirs. An effectively conducted aheritage assessment helps the health care providers in identifyingthe health protection, health maintenance, and health restorationstrategies adopted by an individual or a family. This was achieved inthe three families interviewed in the present study.


Jeong,Y., Lee, M. &amp Kim, Y. (2005). Dance movement therapy improvesemotional responses and modulates neurohormones in adolescents withmild depression. InternationalJournal of Neuroscience,115, 1711-1720.

Nunnery,R. (2012). Advancingyour career: Concepts of professional nursing.Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.

Ora,M. (2008). Besthealth outcomes for Maori: Practice.Wellington: Medical Council of New Zealand.

Owens,L. (2012). Heritage assessment: Developing cultural competency forthe geriatric population. Newsletter,12 (4), 1-6.