Geopolitical Considerations for Working with Medically Complex Patients: A Case Illustration

Jennifer M. Stinson, Cristina A.F. Román, Hannah L. Combs, Michele K. York, Adriana M. Strutt, Stephen R. McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Becoming culturally competent healthcare providers depends on the ability of practitioners to acquire knowledge, awareness, and skills related to other cultures. In building these areas of competence, it is essential to consider geopolitical factors that may influence health and health-seeking behaviors, particularly when working with immigrant populations. When care is sought, they are likely to experience significant barriers to effective care, including lack of providers who speak their language and failure of practitioners to integrate cultural beliefs into treatment plans. This is further complicated by the presence of geopolitical issues, including immigration status, war/conflict in the patient’s country of origin, and/or human rights violations. Method: The current study uses a sample case of a Burmese-speaking, Myanmar national to illustrate a culturally informed approach to the assessment of neurobehavioral changes within complex geopolitical circumstances. The sample represents an amalgam of several patients, designed to represent common presentations, sociodemographic situations, and concerns that arise during the neuropsychological assessment process. Results: Description of relevant case information including background, clinical observations, and performance on testing is provided. Discussion: Awareness of the impact of these life experiences not only has the potential to deepen our understanding of our patients but also results in a more holistic, accurate, and culturally competent conceptualization of their physical and mental health needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Cognitive
  • Cultural neuropsychology
  • Multicultural
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Humans
  • Culturally Competent Care
  • Neuropsychology
  • Multimorbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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