Self-Assessment of Health Professionals’ Cultural Competence: Knowledge, Skills, and Mental Health Concepts for Optimal Health Care

Alexandros Argyriadis*, Evridiki Patelarou, Panagiotis Paoullis, Athina Patelarou, Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, Vasiliki Zisi, Ruth Northway, Maritsa Gourni, Evanthia Asimakopoulou, Dimitra Katsarou, Agathi Argyriadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Current research often refers to cultural competence to improve health care delivery. In addition, it focuses on the cultural uniqueness of each health service user for optimal personalized care. This study aimed to collect self-assessment data from health professionals regarding their cultural competence and to identify their development needs. A mixed methods design was adopted using the Cultural Competence Self-assessment Checklist of the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society. This was translated into Greek, validated, and then shared with health professionals in Cyprus. Subsequently, a semi-structured interview guide was designed and utilized. This was structured in exactly the same question categories as the questionnaire. Data collection took place between October 2021 and May 2022, and convenience sampling was used to recruit 499 health scientists in Cyprus. The sample comprised doctors, nurses, psychologists, midwives, social workers, and physiotherapists. Subsequently, 62 interviews were conducted with participants from the same specialties. The results showed that (compared to other health professionals) nurses and psychologists are more sensitive to issues of cultural competence. It would appear that the more socially oriented sciences had better-prepared healthcare staff to manage diversity in context. However, there is a gap between knowledge and skills when comparing doctors to nurses; they seem to be more skilled and willing to intervene actively in cases of racist behavior or problem-solving. In conclusion, participants identified the importance of their cultural competence; they also realized the importance of optimal planning of personalized health care. There is a significant need for continuous and specialized cultural competence training for all health professions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11282
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • cultural competence
  • diversity
  • mental health
  • optimal care
  • personalized care
  • quality health care
  • self-assessment

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