Performance Improvement 2008. Does Cultural Competency Training for Doctors Improve Their Services to and Health Outcomes Achieved by Racial/Ethnic Minorities and New Immigrant Patients?


This project tested cultural competency curriculum modules (CCCMs) developed and launched in 2004 (see PIC #7713). The modules equipped physicians with cultural and linguistic competencies required to interact effectively with racial/ethnic minorities and new immigrants. The modules comprised an interactive online curriculum (at available at no cost to the public and accredited for continuing education units for physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. A 2-year evaluation, using a mixed study design employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, was conducted to assess the impact of the modules on physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and skills in providing culturally competent care to a diverse patient base.

Overall, the modules enhanced participants' self-awareness of their own cultural competency, their communication practices with their patients, and changes in the perception and use of medical interpreters.  However, there was limited evidence that the program resulted in behavioral change which led to improved minority health and reduced health disparities. Further research is needed to determine the correlation between increasing cultural competency for medical practitioners and improved health outcomes. Providers need tools, such as the cultural competency curriculum modules, to effectively treat minority and new immigrant populations as they continue to increase as the Nation becomes more diverse.

Report Title: Evaluation of Cultural Competency Training Programs for Physicians,
Agency Sponsor:
OPHS-OMH, Office of Minority Health
Federal Contact: Guadalupe Pacheco, 240 453-2882
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
PIC ID: 8625

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