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On-line version ISSN 0121-4500
Introduction: the beliefs and practices of health care are expressions of culture when caring for social groups. Objectives: To analyze the social cultural context of the Cartagena "Comuna 9" quarter and its influence when caring for the health of the elderly. To analyze the beliefs and practices in health care for the elderly with disability and in poverty, in the Cartagena’s "Comuna 9" quarter. To come closer to understanding the concepts of health, age, disability and poverty of the elderly. Methodology: a qualitative, descriptive ethnography was conducted; participant observation and in depth interviews were used. Participants were eight persons 60 years old and over, in conditions of disability and poverty in the Cartagena "Comuna 9" quarter. Leininger’s proposal for the analysis of qualitative data was taken as reference. Criteria for credibility, confirmation, meaning in the context and saturation were met. Informed consent was obtained. Findings: the relationship between the social cultural context and health care is dynamic and it reflects the idiosyncrasies of Cartagena. There are beliefs about things which "support health", "take care of health or cause disease" and things which "sicken and kill"; and care practices that move along a continuum between doing and not doing anything about health care. Conclusion: beliefs and practices in health care reveal how culture permeates all areas of life of individuals and how it changes with their development.
Keywords : health; nursing care; aged; nursing.