First and foremost, this guide is not meant to be an extensive list of all possible cultural issues a practitioner may encounter when working with Latino/a patients. It presents major ideas to create awareness and to build a foundation for future research. Secondly, the guide introduces certain ideas so that practitioners are not surprised and may know better how to respond having been previously exposed to the information. It is not meant to replace use of patient centered questioning such as using the eight questions of the explanatory model. Because a Latino/a patient may or may not hold the views and cultural values presented in the guide, it is still important to make an effort to understand each person’s unique perspective. Finally, the guide does not help overcome language barriers, which add another level of difficulty to understanding a patient’s perceptions. Study of medical Spanish and interpreters would be needed to address this problem.
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