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Eval Health Prof. 2010 Dec;33(4):452-72. doi: 10.1177/0163278710370157. Epub 2010 May 18.

Measuring physicians' and medical students' attitudes toward caring for immigrant patients.

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It is generally believed that culturally competent clinical practice depends in part on the development of positive attitudes toward the care of immigrant patients. However, few tools exist to measure such attitudes in physicians. The authors operationalized ''culturally competent attitudes'' to include a high level of interest in caring for immigrant patients, an acceptance of the responsibility of doctors and hospitals to adapt to immigrant patients' needs, and the opinion that understanding the patient's psychosocial context is particularly important when caring for immigrant patients. The authors then assessed these attitudes and opinions among a sample of 619 Geneva doctors and medical students using a self-administered questionnaire and explored their association to respondents' personal characteristics and professional experience. The authors found that both personal characteristics and professional experience were associated with attitudes toward caring for immigrant patients. In particular, the perceived importance of understanding the psychosocial context when caring for migrants was higher among medical students, women, Swiss nationals, those with greater interest in caring for immigrant patients and those who had received training in cultural competence. However, it is unclear whether cultural competence training and clinical context lead to the development of more positive attitudes or whether medical students and physicians who already have positive attitudes are more likely to participate in such training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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