Assumptions of Leininger’s Culture Care Theory

Leininger focused on providing culturally congruent care to individuals as she developed her theory of culture care diversity and universality. She made various assumptions in the process, which included:

  • Even though different cultures perceive, know, and practice care in different ways, some aspects of care are universal to all cultures of the world.
  • Values, beliefs, and practices regarding care in different cultures are influenced by the worldview, language, spiritual concerns, social, legal, educational, economical, ethnohistorical, technological, and the environmental context of a particular culture.
  • Even though human care is universal across different cultures, different people demonstrate care through varying expressions, actions, and meanings (Burkett et al., 2015).
  • Cultural care is a comprehensive, holistic way of understanding, explaining, interpreting, and predicting nursing care phenomena and thus guide nurses in their daily practices.
  • Different people have different indigenous healthcare practices, which professional practices differ from one group of people to another and that there exist similarities and differences between indigenous and professional caregivers in every culture.
  • Care is dominant, distinct, and unifying, which makes it an integral part of nursing and is independent of cure and healing.
  • Nursing serves human beings across the world, and it promotes the well-being of different categories of people as they operate within the context of their surroundings.
  • The efficacy of nursing care can be maximized when the nurse is familiar with the client’s patterns, cultural values, and expressions, and only if the nurse applies her knowledge appropriately.
  • Clients who receive nursing care that is not familiar to their culture always show signs of stress, fail to comply and are likely to experience moral concerns (Burkett et al., 2015).

The assumptions help nurses providing home care for the elderly to understand that they need to establish a relationship between them and the patients for successful therapy. Moreover, the nurses learn that treatment becomes more effective when offered in a manner that is familiar to the patient.  


Burkett, K., Morris, E., Manning-Courtney, P., Anthony, J., & Shambley-Ebron, D. (2015). African American Families on Autism Diagnosis and Treatment: The Influence of Culture. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 45(10), 3244–3254.

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