Applying Theory to Assess Cultural Competency

Article English OPEN
Blue, Amy V. ; Thiedke, Carolyn ; Chessman, Alexander W. ; Kern, Donna H. ; Keller, Albert (2009)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Medical Education Online (issn: 1087-2981, eissn: 1087-2981)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/meo.v10i.4378
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: education

Using a theoretical cultural competency model, the effectiveness of a cultural competency 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 competency learning activity. Third-year family medicine clerkship students completed a required project to research and reflect upon a patient’s “cultural belief.” Applying a model of cultural competence 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.
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