Clinical relevance of contemporary cultural psychiatry

Renato D. Alarcón, Joseph Westermeyer, Edward F. Foulks, Pedro Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, the field of cultural psychiatry has gained recognition and accumulated evidence of its clinical relevance. This article examines the intersections of culture and psychopathology and describes five independent but interrelated clinical dimensions that identify and define culture as: a) an interpretive/explanatory tool, b) a pathogenic/pathoplastic agent, c) a diagnostic/nosological factor, d) a therapeutic/protective element, and e) a service/management instrument. Along these lines, conceptual boundaries, clinical findings, specific applications, and research implications for each of the five dimensions are systematically reviewed. Cultural psychiatry adds significantly to the comprehensiveness of psychiatric evaluation and management and addresses prominent issues regarding understanding, classification, diagnosis, and competent treatment of most psychiatric disorders in every society and region of the world. Based on the strength of these clinical dimensions, and on the related educational and research efforts, cultural psychiatry can also contribute decisively to the design of comprehensive mental health policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume187
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Ethnopsychology
Psychiatry
Health Policy
Psychopathology
Research
Mental Health
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Clinical relevance of contemporary cultural psychiatry. / Alarcón, Renato D.; Westermeyer, Joseph; Foulks, Edward F.; Ruiz, Pedro.

In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 187, No. 8, 01.08.1999, p. 465-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alarcón, RD, Westermeyer, J, Foulks, EF & Ruiz, P 1999, 'Clinical relevance of contemporary cultural psychiatry', Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 187, no. 8, pp. 465-471. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005053-199908000-00002
Alarcón, Renato D. ; Westermeyer, Joseph ; Foulks, Edward F. ; Ruiz, Pedro. / Clinical relevance of contemporary cultural psychiatry. In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 1999 ; Vol. 187, No. 8. pp. 465-471.
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