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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2007 Oct;13(10):470-7.

Intercultural palliative care: do we need cultural competence?

Author information

1
Department of Ethnicity and Health, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK. YGunaratnam@uclan.ac.uk

Abstract

Recognition of the importance of 'cultural competence' is now central to health care policy and to nurse education and training across the international spectrum. Detailed engagement with models of cultural competence is comparatively recent in palliative care nursing. This article presents the findings from a development project on elders and carers from 'minority ethnic' groups, funded by the Department of Health, to increase awareness of palliative care and to improve understanding of the needs of these groups of service users. The article describes the experiences of nurses involved in the delivery of palliative care who were interviewed in focus groups as a part of the project. It draws attention to the complicated relationships between cultural knowledge and practice and to the non-rational and visceral dimensions of intercultural care. These aspects of nursing are marginalised in current approaches to cultural competence, which emphasise the rational acquisition and application of cultural knowledge and skills by practitioners. It is suggested that recognition of these marginalised experiences can contribute to the development of new approaches to intercultural nursing that are also more attuned to the ethos and values of palliative care.

PMID:
18073705
DOI:
10.12968/ijpn.2007.13.10.27477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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