PURPOSE: Cultural competence in healthcare assists in the delivery of culturally sensitive and high-quality services. This scoping review aims to provide an overview of the available evidence and to examine the effectiveness of classroom-based intervention strategies used to enhance the cultural competence of undergraduate health science students.
METHODS: A comprehensive and systematic literature search was undertaken in databases, including Cochrane Library, Medline, and Emcare. Articles were eligible if they employed an experimental study design to assess classroom-based cultural competency education for university students across the health science disciplines. Two reviewers independently screened and extracted relevant data pertaining to study and participant characteristics using a charting table. The outcomes included knowledge, attitudes, skills, and perceived benefits.
RESULTS: Ten studies were analysed. Diverse approaches to cultural education exist in terms of the mode, frequency, and duration of interventions. For the knowledge outcome, students who experienced cultural education interventions yielded higher post-test scores than their baseline cultural knowledge, but without a significant difference from the scores of students who did not receive interventions. Data relating to the skills domain demonstrated positive effects for students after experiencing interventions. Overall, students were satisfied with their experiences and demonstrated improvements in confidence and attitudes towards culturally competent practice.
CONCLUSION: Across health science disciplines, cultural competency interventions were shown to be effective in enhancing knowledge acquisition, performance of skills, attitudes, and student satisfaction. Future research is necessary to address the significant absence of control arms in the current literature, and to assess long-term effects and patient-related outcomes.
|Number of pages
|Journal of educational evaluation for health professions
|Published - 2021