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Teach Learn Med. 2007 Spring;19(2):180-90.

Self-administered instruments to measure cultural competence of health professionals: a systematic review.

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Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



Tools that measure knowledge, attitudes, and skills reflecting cultural competence of health professionals have not been comprehensively identified, described, or critiqued.


We systematically reviewed English-language articles published from 1980 through June 2003 that evaluated the effectiveness of cultural competence curricula targeted at health professionals by using at least one self-administered tool. We abstracted information about targeted providers, evaluation methods, curricular content, and the psychometric properties of each tool. We included 45 articles in our review. A total of 45 unique instruments (32 learner self-assessments, 13 written exams) were used in the 45 articles. One third (15/45) of the tools had demonstrated either validity or reliability, and only 13% (6/45) had demonstrated both reliability and validity.


Most studies of cultural competence training used self-administered tools that have not been validated. The results of cultural competence training could be interpreted more accurately if validated tools were used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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