Cultural Health Assessment

Singapore is well known multicultural society due to its unique demographic composition.   Singapore population has become increasingly diverse through immigration. According to the Monthly Digest of Statistics Singapore on February 2011, the overall population figure for Singapore in 2005 was 4.26 million. Approximately 81% of the population is Singapore citizens and permanent residents. The remaining 19% of the populations are foreigners. The latest demographic statistics for 2010 reported that the overall population increased to 5.08 million. Singapore citizens and permanent residents population accounted for 74%; while foreigners accounted for 26% of the total population in Singapore. In addition, among the Singapore citizens and permanent residents population group, Chinese form 74%, Malays from 14%, Indians form 9.2%, while others forms 2.8% (Department of Statistics Singapore, 2011).

Within this increasingly multicultural society, healthcare professionals encounter patients from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The patients may own different culture values and beliefs. Healthcare providers can no longer assume that patients will always share a common moral perspective (Carter & Klugman, 2001). Culture defines as ‚Äúthe lifeways of a particular group with its values, beliefs, norms, patterns, and transmitted intergenerationally‚ÄĚ (Leininger as citied in Leininger, 1996, p. 73). Galanti (as cited in Turner, 1996) defined culture as beliefs and behaviors that are shared by a particular group and that influence how the individual perceives and shapes his or her world. For example, perceiving, expressing and controlling pain is one of learned behaviors which is culture-specific. From perspective of physiology, stimulation of pain and transmitting nerve signals to tell the brain that something is happening is the same among all human beings; however, the perceptions and control of pain vary from culture to culture (Free, 2002). Patients describe and express...