Madeleine Leininger's Theory of Cultural Care: Background.
Leininger's Theory of Cultural Care began during the 1950s, when she developed a fascination with anthropology. While she was studying at the University of Cincinnati, she discussed this fascination and how it might influence her work as a professional nurse with visiting professor Margaret Mead (Munoz, 2012). Particularly, she was interested in acknowledging cultural differentiation factors in her nursing practice. She found many concepts that are pertinent to the discipline of nursing within anthropology. This fascination led to her work in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea, where Leininger studied human behavior in two Gadsup villages to determing the convergence and divergence of human behavior in these locations. She received a national League of Nursing Fellowship for this work. This fascination blended into her studies, and she was the first professional nurse to receive a PhD in cultural and social anthropology in 1965. Madeleine Leininger aimed to use her newly acquired knowledge to blend nursing and anthropology (Munoz, 2011). Today, Leininger's concept of "culturally congruent care" is the goal of the Theory of Culture care and is used globally as standard in the nursing profession.
This aim brought about the publication of her "Culture Care Diversity and Universality: A worldwide Theory of Nursing." She is therefore regarded as the mother of transcultural nursing and the founder of the Transcultural Nursing society. In this capacity, Leininger has applied her theory by means of education, research, administration, and practice. In 1966, Dr. Leininger entered a position as Professor of Nursing and Anthropology at the University of Colorado. This was another first in the profession, where a joint appointment was awarded for a professor of nursing and a second discipline in the United States. From 1969, Leininger works as Dean, Professor of Nursing, and Lecturer in Anthropology at theh University of Washington's School of Nursing. Her leadersip brough great recognition to the institution, where the University of Washington was recognized as the outstanding public institutionsal school of nursing in the United States.
From 1974 to 1980, Leininger served at the Utah College of Nursing as Dean, Professor of Nursing, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Center for Nursing Research and the Doctoral and Transcultural Nursing Programs. She was also a pioneer in terms of her presidency at the American Associatoin of Colleges of Nursing, where she was the first full-time president. She was also one of hteh first members serving on the American Academy of Nursing in 1975. From 1981, she served in various capacities at Wayne State University, where she continued to receive a variety of awareds for her work, including the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Gersehenson's Research Fellowship Award. Currently, Leininger is retired, but continues her work in the field of transcultural nursing. She has worked for more than 35 years to advance this theory and to act as a consultant and speaker on her theory, and she continues to do and remains in high demand for her expertise and work this to date.
The main phenomenon Leininger's theory is concerned with is the apparent lack of effectiveness of health care in terms of providing the necessary care for culturally diverse populations. Noticing this when she started her career during the 1940s and 1950s, Leininger began to investigate ways in which to remedy this shortcoming. This in turn, as mentioned, above, led to the creation of her theory and the improvement of health care for populations in the United States and across the world.
Professional nursing today has benefited significantly from Leininger's work, since nursing is primarily a caring profession. Those under her tutelage and care have both benefited from her work in terms of both receiving and giving healthcare. This accounts for her immense popularity among both professionals and recipients of healthcare in the United States and across the world.
In her work, Leininger contributed more than 400 scientific studies within the field of transcultural care (Sagar, 2012, p. 1). The Leininger Collection on Human Caring and...
These Archives contain Leininger's life work, spanning some six decades of passionate research and practical application to her field.
Theory of Cultural Care: Description
When describing the theory in more detail, one might consider Madeleine Leininger's theory of Cultural Care as a product of consciousness that is devoted to a world where constant change is recognized (Allauigan, 2011). The main aim of the theory, as stated above, is to meet the healthcare needs of diverse cultures. This is particularly important today, in a world where diversity and cultural integration is an increasing phenomenon across the world. As such, the theory was derived from Leininger's experiences in hospitals, clinics, and communities.
The first basis of the theory was developed during World War II. Many immigrants and refugees from a variety of cultures entered the United States and other countries across the world. The first phenomenon that Leininger became aware of was that recovery or health maintenance depended greatly upon the way in which healthcare was provided. This idea was reinforced in Leininger's mind during the 1950s, when Leininger worked as a clinical specialist for mildly disturbed children. Because these children were from different cultures, Leininger became deeply aware of the inadequacy of current popular theories to address the needs of these children. This brought home to her the idea that more investigation was warranted into the problem and its potential solutions. One of her major challenges was professional resistance to her ideas, since there was not at the tie sufficient published work to support her thinking around the importance of culture in healthcare. With great effort, however, Leininger established herself as an icon in the field and the theory became one of the most important bases of ehealth care today (Allauigan, 2011, p. 1).
Leininger's theory evolved into a model, known as the "sunrise enabler," which functions on a practical level to determine and discover culture care, while also being symbolic of new hope and knowledge for excellence in nursing. The model includes seven "sunrays," referring to the factors such as technological, religious and philosophical, kinship and social, cultural values and lifeways, political and legal, economic, and educational. All these factors form the sunrays that influence individuals, families, and groups in terms of promoting health and caring for those in an unhealthy state. Currently, the theory is used not only in nursing, but also in other health-related disciplines. It includes an assessment of the health care needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and institutions within a variety of health systems.
When considering the type of reasoning used by the theory, one might argue that, at its initiation, the theory was created by inductive reasoning. Leininger observed various specific phenomena in terms of the way in which individuals from different cultures responded to healthcare, which was based on existing theories. She induced from this that the current theory was not sufficient to provide optimal healthcare and used her observations to arrive at theories that could be used to greater effect in healthcare.
Since inductive reasoning begins with observations of specific phenomena that can be applied to develop general theories, Leininger used inductive reasoning to develop her theory of transcultural nursing. Today, however, the theory is used to arrive in terms of deductive reasoning, which works the other way around. Deductive reasoning uses a general observation to arrive at a more specific conclusion. As such, Leininger's model is used deductively to arrive at optimal ways for treating patients from different cultures. This also represents an effective way in which to determine the validity of a theory. While it is not always possible to arrive at accurate observations and conclusions using inductive reasoning, applying deductive reasoning to the created phenomenon tends to solidify the theory.
Hence the validity and accuracy of Leininger's theory has been proven very effectively with the ability to apply both types of reasoning to it.
The theory has been refined over six decades (Sagar, 2012, p. 2). During this refining process, Leininger and others working with the theory have used its terms and phenomena with as much consistency as was warranted by its evolution. Today, the theory is used consistently across many healthcare disciplines throughout the world, providing a consistent method for caring for persons from different backgrounds.
The concepts are defined explicitly, providing a particular basis for identifying the specific cultural phenomena according to which health is to be evaluated and treated for each individual. Implicitly, the implication is that there must be a consistent sense of respect for cultural differentiation among individuals and that such differentiation is to be utilized not to discriminate but to promote respect.
Sagar (2012, p. 3) mentions that Leininger's theory includes 11 assumptions. Some of these include that "care is the essence.. .and unifying focus of nursing," that there are different expressions, meanings and patterns to "culture care" and that…
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