Older Asian Indian immigrants may be more accustomed to a paternalistic medical system in which the physician determines the care plan and makes the decisions. This premise does not apply to younger Asian Indian immigrants and more acculturated second- and third-generation Asian Indian Americans, who are more familiar with the patient-centered, customer-oriented model of modern biomedicine.
An Effective Approach
An approach that works well with all Asian Indian Americans is using a tenor that is warm, respectful, and assured, and then tailoring specifics to suit the decision-making styles of individual patients and families. This approach is appropriate for both older adults who may still prefer the physician to make important decisions and for the younger generations who may prefer to take charge of their care plan. With regards to communication about health issues, most Asian Indians prefer a familycentered approach. Older adults and their children often prefer not to disclose negative information to patients because they may worry that the truth may take away hope and increase suffering.