Case Study on Effects of Family Organization on Health Seeking Behavior

Effects of Family Organization on Health Seeking Behavior

Family organization has a direct effect on the health seeking behavior especially among children. The family structure is made up of the head being the father who dictates most of the undertakings and decisions. In addition, the female gender is expected to be submissive and obey the male gender without questioning orders given to them. This organization affects the ease of seeking medication and the effectiveness of the medical communication by the family members. A typical East Indian Hindu family comprises of a structure where individual family members live in an undivided family also referred to as a joint family system which comprises of an extended family living under one roof. The family is headed by the ‘karta’ who is the oldest male member of the undivided family structure, the individual is consulted in most decision. In this kind of family, individual attention to children is not provided due to the number of people in the family, therefore a kid may develop an illness and remain untreated for a long time due to lack of attention from caregivers. Since most of the decisions are made by the head of the family, children are not quick to seek medication when they fall ill. Additionally, the kids do not easily say when they are ill. This is because their social life was constricted within family boundaries, therefore, they do not reveal complications that have roots to the family. Further, since the kids are not given personal attention its affects their ease to speak out since they don’t easily trust people. In Vaidye case among her complications one of the illness is hereditary, where she inherited mutated genes from both parents leading to thalassemia major, if she learns about it she is likely to shy away from medication. This is because she might interpret it yo mean that people will know that her family is not perfect.

Hawaiian cultured patient has specific beliefs as stipulated in their culture, therefore, the interpretation of the medical complication may be a breach of culture. In such cases, it is important for medical practitioners to understand the culture and the taboos that might patients’ cooperation. These people have specific signs and signals which have precise meanings in the community, therefore, a nurse attending to such patients must ensure that they do not misuse the signs and symbols. Among the signs and symbols is the ‘shaka’, this sign involves holding the hand in front of and folding the middle finger, the pointer finger and the ring finger to signify accepting a concept (Gregg et al, 2015). Nursing intervention is appropriate in ensuring that patients receive proper medical attention despite their beliefs in divine healing. This has prevented them from seeking medication, worst is when the illness are inherited sickness, this is because they feel that it is against their culture and belief. Although this group of people do not show resistance to medication, in extreme cases they believe in supernatural occurrence, example witchcraft. This believe poses a challenge to nursing intervention during the extreme cases. Further, nursing intervention is required to ensure that vaccination and diagnosis of diseases are done on time to eliminate suffering in the community. When interpreting diagnosis use of signs and symbols must be analyzed to ensure that they do not contradict the beliefs of this group of people.





Gregg, T. M., Mead, L., Burns, J. H., & Takabayashi, M. (2015). Puka Mai He Ko ‘a: The Significance of Corals in Hawaiian Culture. In Ethnobiology of Corals and Coral Reefs (pp. 103-115). Springer International Publishing.