Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability among African Americans

By Faye Z. Belgrave | Go to book overview

ment is that the physical, spiritual, and social aspects of the individual have to be considered when medical and rehabilitative services are provided.


SUMMARY

The culture of African Americans influences their perception of and adaptation to chronic illness and disability. Africentric values are derived from African culture and are shaped by American socialization. Africentric values include spirituality, communalism, harmony, time as a social phenomenon, affect and sensitivity, orality, rhythmic movement, multidimensional perception, extended family, and respect for elders.

African Americans may have schemas about disability and chronic illness that are more consistent with a non-Western conceptualization than a Western conceptualization. Chronic illness and disability are not likely to be seen and treated as concrete, episodic events but as events that are much more integrated within other aspects of the individual's life and within his or her social group. Cultural values, worldview, and beliefs must be taken into consideration when conducting research and developing programs for African Americans with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

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