The lack of scientific information regarding caring beliefs, expectations, and behaviors in the Chinese community of Hong Kong was the problem underlying this descriptive study. A knowledge of caring behaviors as they routinely occur within a culture can provide a basis for the development of professional nursing care that is meaningful for the people of that culture. The purpose of the study was to obtain the opinions of the residents of a Hong Kong Chinese village regarding current beliefs and practices relating to touch, surveillance, health counseling, and special ethnocare techniques. Representatives of twenty families were interviewed with the assistance of a translator.

Touch was seen to be used very conservatively among the group members. Beliefs in taboos relating to the use of touch with certain types of people still existed among some of the respondents. The majority believed in few restrictions regarding the use of touch by nurses when giving professional care.

Children and teenagers were believed to need surveillance as a means of protection against real or potential dangers or illnesses. Few believed that adults needed watching. The mother, both parents, or grand mother were seen to do the majority of watching of family members. Most of the respondents felt that the hospitals should allow more time for family members to stay with sick relatives.

The mother was seen as the main source of health information, but it was believed that among the Chinese other family members as well as nonrelatives also participate in health counseling. The majority saw little relationship between ancestor worship and health, and cultural taboos and health.

Special ethnocare techniques for the maintenance of health and treatment of illnesses included the utilization of the "lay," traditional, and Western health care systems. A wide variety of treatments were used for nonserious illnesses. Care was begun at home with the use of herbs and then progressed to the utilization of either or both of the Chinese or Western medical systems. The use of Western medicines was considered to be more convenient than the traditional Chinese medications. The majority stated that they would seek the help of the Western doctor for serious illnesses.

This study should be considered a pilot study, the purpose of which was to generate topics for future research studies. Further studies will contribute to the theory and practice of both anthropology and nursing.




Graduate School

First Advisor

John W. Elick

Second Advisor

Robert C. Darnell

Third Advisor

Won K. Yoon

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Cross-Cultural Comparison -- Hong Kong; Nursing -- Hong Kong; Transcultural nursing.



Page Count

104 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


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