Cultural and Societal Implications in the Care Environment

The PROCare4Life project recently completed a deliverable, which covered the identification of cultural and societal implications in the care environment. Health is determined by many factors, including but not limited to genetics, personal behaviors, access to quality health care, economic stability, education and one’s external environment. The influence of social and cultural variables on health involve both time and place, including a person’s stages of life and their exposure levels to different variables. The PROCare4Life project recognizes the impact that culture has on health, and calls for new well-being measurements that account for the effects of culturally mediated experiences of illness and health. To develop these measurements, the project has worked to understand, validate and actively support the ways in which diverse and interrelated cultural practices can enhance solidarity and expertise. This involves working across diverse cultural sectors, professional groups, and different domains of policy expertise.

One of the many factors that this project took into account was the recognition of the aging population within Europe and the impact this has on society. The proportion of older people in the population differs greatly from one EU Member State to another, yet there is an overall growing number of older people (aged 65 and over) with a particularly rapid increase people aged 85 and over. Population ageing is one of the greatest social and economic challenges facing the EU, and this project is imperative to support and improve the current circumstances. PROCare4Life seeks to address the individual’s situation and use this information to support their care. This includes understanding each person’s health limitations, living conditions, family structure, income, ability to use technology, and the different cultural expectations regarding health care. This relates to the concept of integrated care because it’s shaped by the perspectives and expectations of various users in the health system. Integrated care highlights the central role of the population and individual needs while coordinating care with all stakeholders involved in a person’s health. This way, we have explored the varying barriers to integrated care in all of the countries involved in the PROCare4Life project to seek the best way to implement an effective care system.

PROCare4Life has several solutions that address the identification of cultural and societal implications in the care environment. This includes the ability to adapt to each person’s social-health profile, including whether they receive care in home or an institutional setting, have formal or informal caregivers, and their ability to use technology. Additionally, this project allows communication between different stakeholders involved in care and improves the coordination between health care services. In conclusion, we have endeavoured to collect information on characteristics of the target population, such as their way of life, expectations for their care, and the social and cultural factors that shape each individual’s reality in order to create a reference to better adapt to the pilot stage that is later on in this project.


This blog was written by Greta Hanson, an undergraduate of Applied Science in Health Services Management (BA)  at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, USA. Greta is currently undertaking a virtual international internship program, which has given her the unique opportunity to work with project partners Parkinson’s Association Madrid and the PROCare4life project.