Our current featured article is an exemplar of research that provides evidence of cultural meanings of health and illness. The article is titled “Family Adjustment Across Cultural Groups in Autistic Spectrum Disorders” is by Sandra L. Lobar, PhD,
APRN, PPCNP-BC. Dr. Lobar provides a summary of literature related to ways in which signs and symptoms are interpreted differently in various cultures, and reports the findings of her research study – an ethnomethodological study examined perceptions of parents/caregivers of children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders concerning actions, norms, understandings, and assumptions related to adjustment to this chronic illness. The overall purpose of the study was to determine norms, understandings, and assumptions that reflect a person’s cultural milieu. Her findings are informative and interesting, but as she indicates in her conclusion, more research is needed with multicultural subgroups in order to understand perceptions that are different for different groups, and from the assumptions of those who are providing care. Understanding across cultural groups ultimately will contribute to better plans of care, particularly for those who are disadvantaged and disenfranchised from the mainstream of health care.
While Dr. Lobar’s article is featured, you can download it at no cost from the ANS web site! We welcome your discussion of this article and the issues it addresses here!