Cultural Competence in Health Communications

Cultural Competence in Health Communications

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Cultural competence refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures. Cultural competence comprises four components:

  1. Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview
  2. Attitude towards cultural differences
  3. Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews
  4. Cross-cultural skills

Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. Effective health communication is as important to health care as clinical skill. To improve individual health and build healthy communities, health care providers need to recognize and address the unique culture, language and health literacy of diverse consumers and communities.

Professional Development Resources offers a variety of cultural-based continuing education (CE) courses for healthcare professionals to address this topic:

Cultural competency is one the main ingredients in closing the disparities gap in health care. It’s the way patients and doctors can come together and talk about health concerns without cultural differences hindering the conversation, but enhancing it. Quite simply, health care services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients can help bring about positive health outcomes. {Office of Minority Health}

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