Module Characteristicsclick to download this module as a pdf

This module focuses on background information all providers caring for older adults and their families should have in order to be able to provide effective care for persons from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The learner is introduced to the importance of knowledge of:

  1. Major systems of health beliefs including the use of traditional culturally based medicine and health practices.
  2. Major historical events experienced by cohorts of elders in the U.S. from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Knowledge of the range of culturally based beliefs and values in health practice provides a broad background for assessing and understanding individual elders’ explanatory models regarding an illness and adherence to recommended health treatment or management strategies.

Knowledge of historical experiences of the various cohorts also gives providers a context for medical histories and insight into the response to the clinical situation and prescribed plan of care by elders.

Information in the content section is based on evidence from research, and citations to the published studies are included.

Course Director and Editor in Chief of the Ethnogeriatrics Curriculum and Training

VJ Periyakoil, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine
periyakoil at stanford dot edu


Gwen Yeo, PhD, AGSF 
Stanford Geriatric Education Center

This edition of the module is based on a version developed by Sue Levkoff, DSc, Yeon Kyung Chee, PhD, and Humberto Reynoso-Vallejo, MA, MSW, and edited by Gwen Yeo, PhD in 2002. It has been updated, edited, and revised by Gwen Yeo, PhD, AGSF.

Copyright/Referencing Information:

Users are free to download and distribute eCampus Geriatrics modules for educational purposes only.

When using this resource please cite us as follows:

Yeo, G, PhD: Ethnogeriatrics Overview, Fund of Knowledge In Periyakoil VS, eds. eCampus-Geriatrics, Stanford CA, 2010.