Lupus Foundation of America Recognizes April as National Minority Health Month
Posted Aug 24 2008 5:50pm
Good morning everyone.
Hope your respective weeks are treating you well so far.
I have been busy here at the LFA. Working on a few large projects. One of them ... which I will share with you here ... is a new mini-site for the lupus.org Website. We're going to have a new and comprehensive section on lupus and clinical trials. We're all very excited about that. This will be launching some time in May.
Your upbringing, background, and culture shape the attitudes you have toward physicians and the health care system as a whole. Take a moment to review these questions and reflect on how your beliefs and viewpoints might affect your health decisions.
Were you raised to trust authority or question it?
When an authority figure (like a physician) tells you to do something, are you likely to follow instructions carefully?
Have you (and your family) had mostly positive experiences with physicians? Or do you second-guess their decisions?
Do you feel comfortable asking your physicians tough or uncomfortable questions?
Do you ever feel like there is a language barrier between you and your doctor? Do you have trouble expressing concerns? Or trouble understanding complex medical instructions?
Have you ever felt like you could use the help of a translator?
Do you believe that complementary or alternative medical treatments can be just as useful as standard Western medical care?
Do you always tell your doctor about complementary or alternative medical treatments you use?
Do you take yourself -- and your worries -- seriously? Do you take your symptoms seriously?
Do you have strong views about the roles that men and women play in a family? Does your health ever suffer because you take on too many responsibilities at home or with your family?
What role does religion play in your life? Do you think religion plays a role in your health?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. But thinking about these topics could change the way you think about your health care. For example, if you don't feel comfortable questioning authority, maybe the next time you meet with your doctor it would be helpful to bring a friend or family member who could speak up on your behalf. Or maybe you'll decide you need the help of a translator. In the end, the most important thing is to have honest and open relationships with the people who are providing your health care. Your mind, body, and spirit will all benefit.
Taken from the Spring 2007 issue of Lupus Now magazine. Written by Stephanie Stephens