Importance of Cultural and Religious Experience: Discussion of Dr. Flomenhaft’s Paper

  • Ida M. Martinson
Part of the The Downstate Series of Research in Psychiatry and Psychology book series (DSRPP, volume 5)


Dr. Flomenhaft’s paper began with vivid illustrations that made the point: Contrast in group and cultural approaches to health care holds not only for persons of dissimilar cultures but within each culture. I will use my experience in Taiwan to relate to the paper. In Taiwan, it was very evident to us that the nurses and nursing faculty were not aware of some of the most common sentiments and practices of persons in their own culture. Perhaps this represents subcultural differences, because the nurses were well educated, while many patients and families were not. Some things that these nurses were not fully aware about the patients included:
  1. (1)

    extensive use of fortune tellers

  2. (2)

    expensive financial expense for religious practices such as paying for vows and seeking services of ritual specialists

  3. (3)

    the extent to which grandparents influenced family decisions, sometimes disastrously. For example, the grandfather who refused to have a child operated upon until too late, and only then did so when a fortune teller indicated to his satisfaction that “out of evil good will come.”

  4. (4)

    the extent to which the nurses were unaware of how much pain the children suffered because the parents did not volunteer information.



Religious Experience Food Craving Chinese Parent Primary Provider Past Life 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ida M. Martinson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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