Online Program

Using traditional healing concepts as a tool to combat low health literacy

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Leslie Ko, MBA, MEd, Traditional Healing Practitioner, Holistic Honu Wellness Center, El Cerrito, CA
When looking at culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to combat issues of low health literacy, the current view of traditional healing practices is to classify this service as a form of complementary or alternative medicine. Cultural competency programs see traditional healing as an alternate way of addressing health and health practices, not a supplementation to existing curricula. However, if the goal is to deliver culturally appropriate services, the cultural basis for health and healing practices must be competently addressed to better understand both the patient and their community. Linguistic services help, however; in many cases, the interpreter is unaware of the rituals and protocols with regard to health, or has dismissed these beliefs as insignificant. More than 89 people completed our training program in the past 3 years. 6 months after completion, participants were asked about the effectiveness of the training they received and how the training compared with other programs they had taken.79 feedback forms were returned. 77 rated this training at 100%; 1 rated this training at 90% effectiveness. 4 self-identified as doctor/physician, 8 as other health care professional, 11 as community health worker. All 23 direct service health practitioners rated the training as excellent and more useful than cultural competency classes previously taken for their various health professions. 8 months after completion, we asked participants to poll their constituency to check behavior changes. Of the 189 forms returned, 118 reported better communications on the part of the practitioner, 95 reported that the practitioner took their time with them and explained procedures better. 56 reported no changes.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss their personal awareness of others and acceptance of differing culturally-based values and beliefs. Assess their personal self-awareness of individual, organizational and Western biomedical culture. Disuss the challenges that arise when differences in culture, values, beliefs, and experiences exist between a patient and provider(s).

Keyword(s): Ethnic Identity, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a traditional practitioner for more than 20 years and have undergone the traditional rites of passage for my craft both as a practitioner and instructor. I have provided services to the community both as a practitioner and instructor for 10 years. In my personal practice, I have acted as a conduit between both the patient and the Euro-Western trained medical professional to ensure respectful and proper communication between both parties.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.