Strategies for providing cultural competent health care for Hmong Americans

J Cult Divers. 2010 Fall;17(3):79-83.


In the early 1980's the United States gave the Hmong preferred refugee status and a large number immigrated to the U.S. The Hmong refugees brought with them their language, social structure and customs, religious beliefs and rituals as well as their health care beliefs and practices. They were uprooted from their community and social supports and now live where the culture, language and socioeconomics are vastly different. Despite having learned a great deal about the Hmong culture over the last three decades, providing culturally competent health care for this unique group continues to be a challenge. The purpose of this paper is to enumerate the barriers to providing health care to Hmong Americans and share strategies to respect Hmong culture when providing quality health care. Emphasis is placed on building relationships based on trust and mutual respect. Cultural exchange is encouraged as well as the need for basic cultural awareness.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Asian Americans / education
  • Asian Americans / ethnology*
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Cultural Competency / education
  • Cultural Competency / organization & administration*
  • Cultural Competency / psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants* / education
  • Emigrants and Immigrants* / psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants* / statistics & numerical data
  • Family / ethnology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Laos / ethnology
  • Medicine, East Asian Traditional
  • Needs Assessment
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Refugees* / education
  • Refugees* / psychology
  • Refugees* / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support
  • Trust
  • United States