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Ethnic Diversity in Health Care Settings

  • By: Elisia L. Cohen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Ethnic diversity in health care settings refers to the idea that a multiplicity of ethnic group distinctions are relevant to understanding the complexities of population health behavior and communication as observed in diverse health care contexts. Ethnicity is formed from a group of people's shared experiences over generations who identify themselves as a group with a unique origin story or history. Ethnicity, conceptually, is similar to culture, as it is defined as a collective creation.

Acknowledging ethnic diversity also requires assessing differences in the cultural values, beliefs, practices, and customs of individuals who may identify in racial or ethnic groups (e.g., as African Americans, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, and Pacific Islanders). In addition to race, ethnicity, and national origin, understanding the cultural values, beliefs, practices, ...

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