Practical Cultural Psychiatry

Practical Cultural Psychiatry

Dinesh Bhugra, Antonio Ventriglio, and Kamaldeep S. Bhui

Print publication date: Sep 2018

ISBN: 9780198723196

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Cultures are defined in many ways and may mean different things. Culture consists of meanings, symbols, and ways of living that are shared by a group of people and within consists of microidentities which are related to gender, religion, sexual orientation, and many other factors. Cultures influence our world view, child rearing, responses to distress, explanatory models, and pathways into professional care. Increasingly, clinicians in medicine, but in psychiatry in particular, have become aware of the way that culture affects precipitating distress, its perpetuation, and prognosis. Cultures and society determine how healthcare is funded. Cultures are not confined to patients; health professionals also carry their own cultures related to professional values and training. Therefore it is important for healthcare professionals to be culturally competent, which reflects good clinical practice. In this volume, practical ways of assessing and managing patients are described, especially for those patients whose cultural background may be different from those of clinicians. It is critical to understand the impact of culture on individuals, their families, and their carers. Assessment using clinical tools needs to be culturally appropriate and sensitive too. Instruments for assessment need to be valid and culturally appropriate. Cultural formulations are helpful in ascertaining contributing and relieving factors. Engaging therapeutically and developing a therapeutic alliance is at the heart of successful patient outcomes. The impact of culture on presentation is described. Using medications in appropriate ways is explained, along with pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.