Caring for the Low German Mennonites
150 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Jun 2018

Caring for the Low German Mennonites

How Religious Beliefs and Practices Influence Health Care

UBC Press, Purich Books

What happens when health care providers meet patients whose religious views contrast with mainstream health practices? This book focuses on a unique religious group, the Low German Mennonites, to examine the ways in which beliefs and practices influence members’ interactions with the health care system.

Drawing on nearly twenty years of research, Judith Kulig presents a meticulous account and vivid illustration of the influence of religion on Low German Mennonites’ conceptions of health and illness, women’s health, death and dying, and mental health. In doing so, she identifies the overlaps and differences between the norms of that community and those of the health care system. She elucidates a process for acknowledging and respectfully inquiring about a patient’s beliefs, and for taking them into account in the planning of care and implementation of treatment. As she argues, health care providers must develop cultural competence to provide effective care for their patients.

This book serves as a rich and detailed example of working respectfully and effectively with a minority religious group. Kulig shows that trust and understanding are key to providing appropriate and equitable health care.

This book will be of interest to health and social service providers practising among distinct religious groups, as well as students and researchers in the fields of health, social science, and rural studies working with Low German Mennonites.

RELATED TOPICS: Health, Religion, Religion & Society
Judith C. Kulig is a professor emerita in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge. She has devoted her research to nursing practice in rural and remote Canada and has spent nearly twenty years working among the Low German Mennonites in both Canada and Mexico. She has worked as a practising nurse in crosscultural contexts (with First Nations groups and Cambodian and Central American refugees). She has published widely in multi‐disciplinary journals and co‐edited, with Allison Williams, Health in Rural Canada (2011). She has presented as a keynote speaker in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and is the past chair of the Canadian Rural Health Research Society, of which she was one of the founding members.
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