The Cultural Formulation: A Method for Assessing Cultural Factors Affecting the Clinical Encounter

The Cultural Formulation: A Method for Assessing Cultural Factors Affecting the Clinical Encounter The growing cultural pluralism of US society requires clinicians to examine the impact of cultural factors on psychiatric illness, including on symptom presentation and help-seeking behavior. In order to render an accurate diagnosis across cultural boundaries and formulate treatment plans acceptable to the patient, clinicians need a systematic method for eliciting and evaluating cultural information in the clinical encounter. This article describes one such method, the Cultural Formulation model, expanding on the guidelines published in DSM-IV. It consists of five components, assessing cultural identity, cultural explanations of the illness, cultural factors related to the psychosocial environment and levels of functioning, cultural elements of the clinician–patient relationship, and the overall impact of culture on diagnosis and care. We present a brief historical overview of the model and use a case scenario to illustrate each of its components and the substantial effect on illness course and treatment outcome of implementing the model in clinical practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

The Cultural Formulation: A Method for Assessing Cultural Factors Affecting the Clinical Encounter

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Human Sciences Press, Inc.
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
ISSN
0033-2720
eISSN
1573-6709
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1020412000183
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The growing cultural pluralism of US society requires clinicians to examine the impact of cultural factors on psychiatric illness, including on symptom presentation and help-seeking behavior. In order to render an accurate diagnosis across cultural boundaries and formulate treatment plans acceptable to the patient, clinicians need a systematic method for eliciting and evaluating cultural information in the clinical encounter. This article describes one such method, the Cultural Formulation model, expanding on the guidelines published in DSM-IV. It consists of five components, assessing cultural identity, cultural explanations of the illness, cultural factors related to the psychosocial environment and levels of functioning, cultural elements of the clinician–patient relationship, and the overall impact of culture on diagnosis and care. We present a brief historical overview of the model and use a case scenario to illustrate each of its components and the substantial effect on illness course and treatment outcome of implementing the model in clinical practice.

Journal

Psychiatric QuarterlySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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