Culture & Clinical Care
Juliene G. Lipson and Suzanne L. Dibble, eds.

[San Francisco: UCSF Nursing Press, 487 pages, paperback.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 80, Winter 2006, © 2006, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Cheryl K. Smith.]

Khmer (Cambodian) women are uncomfortable with prenatal classes and look to their elders for advice during pregnancy. They may also prefer that their mothers, but not husbands, be present during labor and birth. They don’t breastfeed their babies until a few days after birth because of a belief that colostrum is not appropriate for the baby. If a baby is born with a genetic defect, they are likely to blame it on past sins or something the parents did during the pregnancy. Yet they will accept and care for those disabled babies, both as a family and as a community. They have a flexible orientation to time, so may be early or late to appointments. As a sign of respect, they often will avoid direct eye contact. This is an example of the kind of information that you will find in Culture & Clinical Care, an incredible reference.

This book will be helpful to anyone who provides health care to people from different cultures. While not exhaustive, the book covers many different ethnic and cultural groups and is arranged in alphabetical order. Each chapter includes a variety of information on subjects that are essential to communication with and provision of health care services to people from other cultures. For anyone who is planning to travel to another country to provide health care or work in a setting that serves cultural minorities, I would highly recommended reading the relevant chapters in this book.

Reviewer Cheryl K. Smith bio