Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Physical Description

1 online resource (103 p.)


Mexican Americans -- Health and hygiene -- Oregon -- Marion County, Traditional medicine -- Oregon -- Marion County, Medical care -- Oregon -- Marion County




This study explores and describes curanderismo (folk curing) and the cultural disease concepts of mollera caida, empacho, mal de ojo, and susto as researched in a rural Oregon community. Chicano cultural disease concepts and beliefs are then related to modern health delivery services, and a case is made for the need for cultural awareness, respect, and sensitivity on the part of medical personnel who deliver services. The approach of a curandera (curer) and a doctor are compared.

It is strongly stated that Chicanos’ health beliefs and practices do not exist in isolation from the rest of their culture, and that the concept of familias is a particularly important focal point in the harmony of this culture. It is suggested that health delivery services as well as all helping services cannot afford to neglect the totality of a Chicano cultural viewpoint if their services are to have relevance. Practical suggestions for health personnel are included. Data were collected primarily through the participant-observer method.


A thesis submitted to Portland State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work.

Persistent Identifier