Culturally Appropriate Geriatric Care: Delivery of Care

Health Promotion

Preventive care is increasingly being promoted to improve the health of Vietnamese people especially as they age. According to the Public Health Functions Steering Committee, it is important to encourage a target population to maintain and adopt healthy behaviors with regular physician check ups by educating them about health issues and services and by designing and disseminating resources tailored them (Woodall et al, 2006).

In a study by Woodall and Colleagues, four of the most common sources of health information used by more than fifty percent of Vietnamese American men were:

  • Vietnamese newspapers/magazines,
  • Vietnamese and English language television,
  • Vietnamese radio and friends and family members.

These four commonly used sources can be implemented to reach out to the Vietnamese community about health awareness and prevention. For example, some health issues and preventative measures can be providing the Vietnamese community with resources on healthy behavior and regular health check ups. Healthy behaviors include regular exercise, well-balanced diet, stress management and smoking cessation. Since 35% to 42% Vietnamese males smoke, smoking cessation campaigns will help decrease the prevalence of lung cancer and other health conditions such as asthma and respiratory related illnesses. Regular physician check ups such as screening are also vital. Since Vietnamese women have one of the highest incidences of cervical cancer, regular pap smears can help decrease the prevalence of cervical cancer in this group. Other recommendations to aide in promoting regular pap smears are having a female provider, support groups, and health education classes or seminars to explain the rationale behind regular screenings and procedures and equipment involved.