The cultural context of the Sierra Leonean Mende woman as patient.

 J Transcult Nurs. 2010 Jul;21(3):228-36. doi: 10.1177/1043659609358781.

The cultural context of the Sierra Leonean Mende woman as patient.

Kallon I, Dundes L.

Department of Sociology, McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157, USA.


This article provides a clinically pertinent overview of Sierra Leonean immigrants, a growing patient population that most health care workers know little about. The focus is on Sierra Leonean Mende women and the relevance of their cultural perspective to clinical care. A literature review and interview responses from seven Sierra Leoneans are the sources of data. Immigrants from Sierra Leone are coming from a country that since the late 1990s has been ranked at the bottom of the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Practitioner knowledge of cultural norms such as female genital mutilation and discomfort with opposite sex health practitioners can improve cross-cultural interactions in the health arena. Given that most clinicians are unfamiliar with this unique patient population, this article provides background information including special
attention to medically relevant aspects of the Sierra Leonean cultural milieu that will enhance the rapport between health care workers and these patients.

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