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Online · School of Health Sciences · Public and Community Health

Cultural Aspects of Health Behavior
HLTH-623

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course examines cultural perspectives on beliefs and health risk perception in relationship to health behavior. The cultural aspects of healthcare use through “healers” and health systems are also examined.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

Culture plays a significant role in health care utilization. It determines the frequency and types of services accessed. It also contributes to health disparities by producing barriers to care. Healthcare workers must be sensitive to the belief systems and cultural practices of others regardless of the setting. When working internationally, however, workers are likely to find themselves in an unfamiliar cultural setting. This situation requires a much greater level of cultural competency to be able to successfully work around and within the cultural traditions of the host nation.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Reflect on personal cultural background and related biases.
  2. Discuss differences in various cultures as they pertain to health and health care.
  3. Assess the impact of culture on health disparities (both positive and negative).
  4. Describe methodologies for working in a cross-cultural setting to improve communication and health advocacy.
  5. Distinguish between cultural sensitivity and cultural competence.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Culture Matters: The Peace Corps Cross-Cultural Workbook. Peace Corp Information Collection and Exchange T0087 (Available free at http://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/library/T0087_Culture_Matters.pdf)

Health Care and Religious Beliefs. (Available free at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/programs/ps-1026227-health-care-religious-beliefs.pdf)

Winkelman M. Culture and Health: Applying Medical Anthropology. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc.; 2009. ISBN: 9780470283554.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resources

Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin A, et al. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. Current ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Available free www.cdc.gov/mmwr)

Additional Materials for Learning 

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Reflection Paper

The student will write a 4–5-page assessment of his/her own culture. In the paper, the student will describe his/her familial cultural background. The paper must address similarities and differences between the student’s own culture and other major cultural groups studied in the course. Particular attention must be given to sources of bias toward people of other cultures. The student must also investigate ways to minimize the impact of his/her cultural biases when providing public health services to others.

Wikis (2)

The student will choose a term from the given list and provide a detailed description of the term using material from the texts and reliable research publications. After providing an original wiki, the student must seek out the wikis of other classmates and provide edits to raise the quality and reliability of the entry. The student will be evaluated on the quantity and quality of his/her contributions.

Cultural Anthropology Paper

The student will choose a priority population from a list of geographic cultural groups offered by the instructor. The student will research the chosen culture and identify culturally related health barriers and risks. The written paper must be 7–10 pages and include a minimum of 5 scholarly sources. All information must be properly cited using current AMA style. A ¾–1-page bulleted talking paper must be attached as an appendix to the document.

Cultural Solutions Project and Video Presentation

The student will design a workable solution to mitigate the health barriers or risks identified in their Cultural Anthropology Paper, using content and methods that would be culturally appropriate and acceptable to the priority population. It will be presented as a 12–15-slide PowerPoint presentation with presentation notes. Each notes section at the bottom of each slide must be 250–350 words. Create an original video presentation of this project. The video must be 10-15 minutes. This assignment will be a true test of the student’s ability to demonstrate competence on all course outcomes. The grade will be determined by a combination of the written and oral components.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam will cover the Reading & Study material for Modules/Weeks 1–4. The exam will: be open-book/open-notes; contain 32 multiple-choice and true/false, 2 matching, and 3 short-answer questions; and have a 2-hour time limit.

Final Exam

The Final Exam will cover the Reading & Study material for Modules/Weeks 5–8. The exam will: be open-book/open-notes; contain 27 multiple-choice and true/false, 3 matching, and 3 short-answer questions; and have a 2-hour time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums (2 at 50 pts ea)

100

Reflection Paper

100

Wikis (2 at 50 pts ea)

100

Cultural Anthropology Paper

200

Cultural Solutions Project and Video Presentation

200

Midterm Exam

(Modules 1–4)

150

Final Exam

(Modules 5–8)

150

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

HLTH 623

Textbook: Michael Winkelman, Culture and Health: Applying Medical Anthropology (2009).

Workbooks: Peace Corps Information Collection and Exchange, Culture Matters (Reprinted 2012)

Alberta Health Services, Health Care and Religious Beliefs (2015).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Winkelman: ch. 1

Workbook: Culture Matters: chs. 1–4

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Reflection Paper

10

0

100

2

Winkelman: chs. 2–3

Workbook: Culture Matters: ch. 5

1 presentation

DB Forum 1

50

3

Winkelman: chs. 4–5

Workbook: Culture Matters: ch. 6

2 presentations

Wiki 1

50

4

Winkelman: ch. 6

2 presentations

Cultural Anthropology Paper Country Selection

Midterm Exam

0

150

5

Winkelman: ch. 7

1 presentation

1 website

Cultural Anthropology Paper

200

6

Winkelman: ch. 8

1 presentation

Wiki 2

50

7

Winkelman: ch. 9

Workbook: Health Care and Religious Beliefs (entire)

1 presentation

Individual Cultural Project and Video Presentation

200

8

Winkelman: ch. 10

3 presentations

DB Forum 2

Final Exam

50

150

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.