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OT Cultural Competency: A Resources Guide
It is our hope that you will find this a useful resource. This resource was originally designed by two students who graduated in 2009, Kelly Bjoralt and Kristy Henson. Their focus was on providing information and resources for healthcare providers on the primary cultural groups in the Midwest. The mission of this site is to help facilitate cultural knowledge, understanding and skills that are vital in becoming a culturally competent occupational therapist because we believe this is essential to being a quality and competent healthcare provider.
The definition of culture and cultural competency varies throughout current literature. For purposes of this site, the definition by Bucher, 2010 will be used. "Cultural Competence refers to a set of attitudes and skills that make it possible for organizations and staff not only to acknowledge cultural differences but also incorporate these differences in working with people from various cultures. In the process of learning to be diversity conscious, healthcare providers undergo profound personal change" (pg. 67).
Bucher, R.D. (2010). Diversity consciousness. Opening our minds to people, cultures and opportunities (3rd ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson
One's culture ultimately affects views on health care and the decision-making process, which in turn influences the quality of care and recovery time of the patient. Medical professionals are increasingly being called upon to demonstrate clinical understanding of culture while treating clients. According to the United States Census Bureau, "Ethnic minorities now comprise about 30% of the population, and demographic trends show that they will become the majority by the year 2050." Occupational therapists and healthcare providers in general, must develop cultural competency in order to deliver quality, client-centered care to all clients.
Cultural Competency Assessments/Checklists
Cultural Competency Assessment , Developed by Kelly Bjoralt, OTS, and Kristy Henson, OTS, 2008.
Assessment of Organizational Cultural Competence
This brochure provides a definition of cultural competency and health care disparities. Included is a checklist when considering activities such as audience, cultural factors and communication. Assessment of Organizational Cultural Competence is the work of an Ad Hoc Committee of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Multicultural Council.
Promoting Cultural & Linguistic Competency
Self-Assessment Checklist for Personnel Providing Services and Supports In Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings.
Tawara D. Goode
Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research & Service
Adapted from "Promoting Cultural Competence and Cultural Diversity in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Settings"
Jun 1898; Revised 2009*
National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC)
The NCCC has numerous resources and many self-assessments for cultural competency available online and in pdf form
The Family PACT Linguistic and Cultural Competency Toolkit
This toolkit includes a self-assessment survey along with all the information you need to understand the results and develop an action plan for enhancing your services and programs.
Barriers to Gaining Competency
Bucher (2010) states that, "before we can overcome barriers, we have to acknowledge them, in ourselves, others, and in our communities (pg. 106)." The following table contains just a few barriers that can prevent becoming one from becoming culturally competent.
Cultural bias (making unwarranted assumptions about someone else) e.g. "you talk funny"
Lack of awareness of cultural differences
Lack of awareness of cultural differences
Ethnocentric: thinking your way is the only way or only right way
Close minded: unwilling to think of others ideas or values
Saying "them" versus "us"
Isolate self from cultural events or those I consider different
Blame a whole cultural group for something someone may have done to you or someone you know who is from a different cultural group
Believing I am better than someone else just because of how they look or believe
Afraid of another group
Expect those who I feel are different than me to act a certain way just because they are from a certain group.
Difficulty acknowledging that not everyone in a 'group' is the same
I see no reason to examine who I am, I know who I am, that's stupid.
When someone from another culture group does something, I may use it to support a bias, stereotype or prejudice I have.
Unwilling to learn
Unwilling to extend grace
Unwilling to see my own faults
Center for the Study of Issues in Public Mental Health, Multicultural Research Issues
The Center is dedicated to improving the outcomes of public mental health services through the effective integration of research, policy and practice.
Immigration Policy Center
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Tons of resources and DVDs on immigrants. There are excellent information and tips you can download and phrase books.
Has a ton of resources and CLAS standards new in 2012
"Matters of Race" (PBS Series)
Providers Guide to Quality and Culture
This website contains useful information related to cultural competence and health care.
U.S. Census Bureau
Choosing Credible Websites/Sources
It is important to learn how to choose credible sites for your information. Most people don't know that there is no one who has to judge the quality or accuracy of the information found on the Internet before you use it. Some sites are created by experts, but the majority are designed and authored by non-experts. We have included several expert sites listed below to help you as you research.
Critically Analyzing Information Sources
From the Cornell University Library
Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask
A five-point evaluation checklist from the UC Berkeley Library.
Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages (Jim Kapoun)
To evaluate websites go to this table of criteria and questions to ask when judging the reliability of information on the Web.
Medical Interpretation Services
Cross Cultural Health Care Program
A nonprofit organization, whose mission is to help ensure underserved communities full access to quality health care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Hablamos Juntos (Spanish for "We Speak Together") is a unique project designed to forge connections between health care providers and the rapidly growing Latino health market.
Office of Minority Health. National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care: Final Report. Washington, D.C. March 2001
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Care Disparities
National Conference of State Legislators
Has links to other relevant sites as well
OT Journal Articles
Bass-Haugen, J.D. (2009). Health disparities: Examination of evidence relevant for occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 24–34.
Braveman, B., & Bass-Haugen, J. D. (2009). From the Desks of the Guest Editors—Social justice and health disparities: An evolving discourse in occupational therapy research and intervention. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 7–12.
Ford, K, Waring, L, & Boggis, T. (2007). Living on the edge. The hidden voices of health disparities. OT Practice, 12(5), 17–22.
This OT Cultural Competence Resource Guide was created with one main goal: to provide a condensed list of resources that clinicians and students can use to facilitate individual development of multicultural competency. The OT Cultural Competence website provides a collaboration of resources that will offer educational information on cultural issues and links to access additional materials in the Midwest. Because of the magnitude a project such as this could result in, the decision to begin with the Midwest was made. In addition, the cultural groups included in this initial endeavor are the ones with the highest numbers in the Midwest.
The website offers information on how cultural practices may impact therapy, methods to obtain additional resources and suggestions of how to guide the therapeutic process. The resources provided are not all-inclusive, but aim to supplement knowledge gained through education and experience. Our aim is to provide material in which one can direct his or her own learning and further develop a level of cultural competence required in the delivery of quality and client-centered care. As a result, it is our hope that clients and clinicians will experience greater satisfaction throughout the therapeutic process.