Applying Theory to Assess Cultural Competency

Applying Theory to Assess Cultural Competency,Amy V. Blue,Carolyn Thiedke,Alexander W. Chessman,Donna H. Kern

Applying Theory to Assess Cultural Competency   (Citations: 3)
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Using a theoretical cultural competency model, the effectiveness of a cultural compe- tency learning assignment was examined to determine: 1) students' cultural competency levels as reflected through the assignment, and 2) the effectiveness of the assignment as a cultural compe- tency learning activity. Third-year family medicine clerkship students completed a required pro- ject to research and reflect upon a patient's "cultural belief." Applying a model of cultural compe- tence development, a content analysis of written project reports determined what level of cultural competence was expressed by students' reflections. Results indicated16% of students were at "no insight", 18% at "minimal emphasis" and 66% at "acceptance." While many students expressed an "acceptance" competence level, not all students expressed the desired level of acceptance about the role of cultural beliefs in medical care. Application of a cultural competency theory to assess learners permits educators to frame performance changes within the context of competency achievement and determine if desired levels of competency have been achieved. As the racial and ethnic composition of nations continues to change, the need for physicians to prac- tice medical care that accepts, appreciates and ac- commodates cultural differences has become essen- tial.1-3 In turn, medical school curricula are recogniz- ing the need for increased emphasis on issues of cul- tural sensitivity in medicine and addressing the need to incorporate cross-cultural education through a va- riety of approaches.4,5 These include: 1) experiences designed to promote self-reflection about bias and the need to appreciate differences in health values, be- liefs and behaviors; 2) activities that provide knowl- edge about particular cultural groups' health values, beliefs and behaviors; and 3) methods to develop skills for effective cross-cultural approaches with patients. 6
Published in 2005.
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