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Cancer Pract. 1994 May-Jun;2(3):202-8.

Ethnosensitive techniques in the treatment of the Hasidic patient with cancer.


Hasidic Jews, members of the ultraorthodox sects, represent a cultural subgroup found predominantly in large urban areas. This article presents the authors' understanding of the origins and attributes of Hasidic culture and the sociocultural conflicts that arise when patients from this sheltered culture encounter modern institutions such as the oncology medical center. As a result of cultural and religious differences, both Hasidic patients and healthcare professionals find themselves confronting a set of unique issues related to the way in which the Hasidim deal with a cancer diagnosis. Key variables influencing the Hasidic patient's response include his or her cultural view of illness, understanding of the role of medicine, theological world view, issues related to Holocaust survivorship, and the sense of identity as expressed in ritual practice. In this age of multiculturalism, it is important to recognize the unique features of different ethnic groups. Doing so ensures that each group receives the same level of services without having to conform to an arbitrary norm. Attention to the ethnic and cultural characteristics of the patient with cancer has been shown to enhance the quality of professional intervention. Specific recommendations for intervention are offered for the oncology healthcare provider as clinician, mediator, and patient advocate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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