The Leininger’s Cultural Care Theory

Leininger’s Culture Care Theory promotes culturally congruent nursing care by cognitively-based facilitative, supportive or assistive acts. These acts are made to fit an individual or group’s cultural lifeways, values and beliefs. In her early career, Leininger acknowledged the importance of caring in the nursing profession. The care intends to have beneficial health outcomes and meaning for people of similar or different cultural backgrounds. The client and the nurse together design a new lifestyle for the client’s health or well-being. Nurse-patient relationship mode needs professional and generic knowledge that fits the nursing care goals and actions. There are several basic concepts of Leininger’s theory of care. One of the concepts is care, which helps others with anticipated or real needs to enhance the human condition of concern (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2019). Caring is an activity or action controlled towards providing care. Another concept of the theory is culture, which refers to transmitted, shared, and learned values and beliefs that guide a specific group’s actions, decisions, and thinking.

Jewish Cultural Values and Beliefs

Generally, each culture has beliefs on treatment, health, disease, and care providers (Selekman & Zavadivker, 2021). The Jewish are very observant and traditional in terms of dietary and religious laws. In the case of diet, they prefer meat that is specially prepared according to their laws. Rabbit, shellfish, and pork are strictly prohibited in their culture. Meat and milk products cannot be eaten at the same time (Elo & Volovelsky, 2017). They may not accept any medication that is not Jewish. However, Jewish patients can accept medical advice if fasting is a danger to them. They forbid family planning or the use of contraceptives unless the health of a woman is at risk. Organ transplants are not allowed in the Jewish cultural beliefs. The patient wishes to hear or recite special prayers or psalms and hold the page on which the psalms are written. In case of death, the nearest relative or the son is the one to close the mouth and the eyes. The body should preferably be handled by a Jewish, unless when there is no alternative (Selekman & Zavadivker, 2021). Cultural differences affect many aspects of Jewish life, for instance, religion, literature, marriage, social lifestyle and attitudes to gender. The way families make health care decisions can also be influenced by cultural differences. Besides the positive impact of religion and spirituality, there are also negative effects associated with it. Believers might experience spiritual, psychological, and social strains associated with religious beliefs that distress them and their families. Religious beliefs can cause some patients to forego necessary medical care or deny lifesaving procedures, relying on faith rather than medicine.

Conducting Cultural Assessment to Ensure Appropriate Care

Religion or spirituality can be integrated into health practice through listening to and engaging with patients or their families. Their beliefs should be acknowledged and understood on how they are related to their health. Being observant of religious or spiritual practices and beliefs is crucial for health practitioners. Patients should be asked about what makes them feel strong and provides support in their life. The religious or spiritual requirements are supposed to be documented, and the health care team has to understand them. Documentation enables these requirements to be incorporated into treatment care and planning (Wehbe-Alamah, 2018). These requirements include customs, supporting rituals, or any valued practice. They may also include partnering with representatives or chaplains from the religious community of the patient.

Incorporating Leininger’s Cultural Care into Plan of Care

Since there is a broad range of traditions, healing practices, and beliefs in the Jewish culture, it is crucial to link professional and generic nursing care for culturally congruent care. I would evaluate my traditions, beliefs, and values and be aware that other people may share different traditions, values, and beliefs. For example, during meals, Jewish patients should be segregated away from dining sections that serve pork, shellfish or rabbits. They should also be offered with a quiet place where they would recite prayers and psalms. I would preserve and maintain helpful and desirable values and beliefs. Negotiating and accommodating others’ cultures is also helpful. I can work with the person involved in mutual decision-making as I modify the nursing action to attain better health outcomes.


Elo, M., & Volovelsky, E. K. (2017). Jewish diaspora entrepreneurs-the impact of religion on opportunity exploration and exploitation. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 31(2), 244-269.

McFarland, M. R., & Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2019). Leininger’s theory of culture care diversity and universality: An overview with a historical retrospective and a view toward the future. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 30(6), 540-557.

Selekman, J., & Zavadivker, P. (2021). People of Jewish heritage. In textbook for transcultural health care: A population approach (pp. 557-588). Springer.

Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2018). Leininger’s culture care diversity and universality theory. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 37(7), 25-39. doi: 10.1891/0739-6686.37.1.1.

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