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J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Sep;101(9):886-92.

Cultural competency in health care: evaluating the outcomes of a cultural competency training among health care professionals.

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.



The purpose of this research was to examine the effectiveness of a cultural competency training program designed to improve the knowledge and skills of health care providers and administrators engaging in cross-cultural, clinical encounters.


We conducted an evaluation study among 43 health care professionals (health care providers and health administrators) who attended a 4-hour cultural competency workshop. We used a post-then-pre method of self-reported evaluation to answer a key question: Does cultural competency training produce a measurable change in knowledge and skills relating to the care of patients from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds?


The study findings suggest that there are statistically significant change in participants' self-report of knowledge and skills related to cultural competency.


Our study shows that a cultural competency training program that integrates key topics as recommended by the Institute of Medicine and includes Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care standards improves the knowledge and skills of health care providers and administrators. Following the training, the participants self-reported not only an enhanced understanding of the health care experiences of patients with diverse backgrounds, but also an improvement in their skills to effectively work in cross-cultural situations. In addition, our study offers a reliable, innovative, and time-efficient strategy--post-then-pre method-for evaluating the outcomes of 4-hour cultural competency training programs.

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