The different cultures of thalassemia

Traditionally thought of thalassemia is a disease that is effecting populations bordering the Mediterranean. But, at the Northern California Comprehensive Center at CHRCO thalassemia, 80% of the patient population is of Asian origin. Many of these individuals recent immigrants to the United States and almost half do not speak English. It represents two major hurdles in providing health care to our patients:

     * Accurate translation of the patient and medical information during patient visits, and
     * Differences between Eastern and Western health beliefs.

Thalassemia is a complex disease that requires an understanding of genetics and biology to understand thoroughly. Unfortunately, many Asian and Southeast Asian languages
​​, especially those in rural areas are spoken, not include the vocabulary of modern medical and technical terms, so the ability to accurately translate disease and treatment information is difficult.
In order to translate these problems to overcome, we try to interpreters who have medical training to use, so they are more equipped to help our patients understand thalassemia. We also see information annually in the hope that any confusion can be identified and explained.

cultural differences

Cultural beliefs of our patients with respect to the origin of thalassemia and its treatment often differs from that of Western medicine. Care must be provided in a manner that a respect for the patient's cultural beliefs with an accepted medical practice integration. The diversity of the Asian population (Lao Mien, Khmu, Chinese, Hmong, etc..) Increase the complexity of delivering culturally sensitive care more.