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Handbook for Culturally Competent Care

  • Book
  • © 2019


  • The only book on culture providing an extensive cultural assessment tool that can be used in all practice setting
  • Follows a specific format according to the 12 domains of culture in the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence
  • Provides a clear vision of the common health conditions for the population presented and identifies the possible causes, such as genetics, lifestyle and environment as well as unknown causes

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Table of contents (30 chapters)


About this book

This concise, easy-to-read book tackles the potentially awkward subject of culture in a direct, non-intimidating style. It prepares all health professionals in any clinical setting to conduct thorough assessments of individual from culturally specific population groups, making it especially valuable in today's team-oriented healthcare environment. The book is suitable for healthcare workers in all fields, particularly nurses who interact with the patients 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

Based on the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence, it explores 26 different cultures and the issues that healthcare professionals need to be sensitive to. For each group, the book includes an overview of heritage, communication styles, family roles and organization, workforce issues, biocultural ecology, high-risk health behaviors, nutrition, pregnancy and child bearing, death rituals, spirituality, healthcare practices, and the views of healthcare providers. It also discusses the variant characteristics of culture that determine the diversity of values, beliefs, and practices in an individual's cultural heritage in order to help prevent stereotyping. These characteristics include age, generation, nationality, race, color, gender, religion, educational status, socioeconomic status, occupation, military status, political beliefs, urban versus rural residence, enclave identity, marital status, parental status, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, gender issues, health literacy, and reasons for migration. Each chapter offers specific instructions, guidelines, tips, intervention strategies, and approaches specific to a particular cultural population.


“This book is written for healthcare providers in the United States, regardless of their practice site and specific role, although it specifically mentions nursing. It is geared towards individuals who have some understanding of cultural awareness and they should be able to apply the cultural assessment model concepts to elicit additional information from the person they are caring for. ... This book offers readers the groundwork to build their knowledge of the specified cultures and to self-reflect on the culture.” (Sandra Jean Herron, Doody's Book Reviews, October 25, 2019)

Authors and Affiliations

  • College of Health Sciences, University of Delaware/Newark, Sudlersville, USA

    Larry D. Purnell

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, USA

    Eric A. Fenkl

About the authors

Dr. Larry D. Purnell is Emeritus Professor from the University of Delaware where he coordinated the graduate programs in nursing and healthcare administration and taught culture. His Model, the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence has been translated into Arabic, Czech, Flemish, Korean, French, German, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. His textbook on Transcultural Health Care won the Brandon Hill and American Journal of Nursing Book Awards. Dr. Purnell has over 100 refereed journal publications, 100 book chapters, and 14 textbooks, including updated editions. He has made presentations throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, Denmark, Italy, Korea, Panama, Russia, Scotland, Spain, and Turkey. He is the U.S. Representative to the European Union’s Commission on Intercultural Communication resulting from the Salamanca, Sorbonne, Bologna, and WHO Declarations. He has been on the International Editorial Board, for six journals. Dr. Purnell is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a Transcultural Nursing Scholar, Luther Christman Fellow, and is on the Rosa Parks Wall of Fame for Teaching Tolerance.

Dr. Eric A. Fenkl, an Associate Professor of Nursing, received his PhD in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin.  Dr. Fenkl’s research interests include the cultural aspects of HIV/HPV prevention and related disease among LGBT populations with a particular emphasis on MSM and ethnically diverse populations. Dr. Fenkl has been the Co-PI on two large grants from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, SAMHSA. One to develop a program focusing on HIV/STD and substance abuse prevention for minority LGBT students on campus and a second one to implement a program for outreach in the greater Miami metropolitan area specifically for at-risk minority MSM. Dr. Fenkl has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has published widely in peer-reviewed journals globally. Dr. Fenkl's teaching is focused on the facilitation of cultural competence in advanced practice nursing.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Handbook for Culturally Competent Care

  • Authors: Larry D. Purnell, Eric A. Fenkl

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Medicine, Medicine (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-21945-1Published: 12 July 2019

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-21946-8Published: 29 June 2019

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XX, 353

  • Number of Illustrations: 2 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Nursing Management, Medical Sociology, Medical Geography, Health Administration

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