1. Roberts, David MS, RN, NNP-BC

Article Content

Culture & Clinical Care


By: Juliene G. Lipson and Suzanne L. Dibble, 2005 UCSF Nursing Press, San Francisco, CA, ISBN: 0943671-22-1


The authors, Juliene G. Lipson and Suzanne L. Dibble, explicate and explore cultural/ethnic issues that may affect clinical care in their book, Culture & Clinical Care. The authors are affiliated with the School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco.


This book emphasizes self-awareness of one's own biases, a sensitive approach to cultural similarities and differences, and the need for knowledge of culture in order to maintain an informed and culturally sensitive practice. The book does not provide a framework of cultural competence, and the authors state that an objective to achieve cultural competence is unrealistic. The authors' approach to culture is ASK-awareness, sensitivity, and knowledge. Realizing that culture is only 1 factor of many that affect a patient's reaction and behavior when faced with illness and other life-changing events, the approach of ASK is to establish a trust-based relationship among the healthcare provider, patient, and family. The authors caution using cultural information as a template or "cookbook" when applying cultural aspects to a specific patient or family because this can lead to stereotyping and provision of insensitive care.


The authors state that the purpose of the book is "to sensitize health care providers to cultural variations, within each group it describes, to encourage asking questions, and to stimulate learning about how patients identify with and express their cultural background." The introduction of the book highlights limitations of information, cultural assessment, sources of diversity, variations in communication, and communication and interpreters. The description and information of each group is detailed and includes cultural/ethnic identity, spiritual/religious orientation, oral and nonverbal communication, activities of daily living, food practices, symptom management, birth rituals and care of the new mother and baby, developmental and sexual issues, family relationships, illness beliefs, health issues, and death rituals. All of the information is prefaced within the framework of ASK, recognizing that individuals are the experts of their lives, culture, and experiences.


The information presented in this book is complete and provides healthcare providers, as well as other disciplines/ professions that interact with a multicultural clientele, an exhaustive resource to facilitate culturally sensitive interactions. This book not only is appropriate as a resource for professionals but also can be used in an academic setting.


For more information, go to the University of California, San Francisco Nursing Press Web site at