What is the role of cultural competence in ethnic minority consumer engagement? An analysis in community healthcare

Reema Harrison, Merrilyn Walton, Ashfaq Chauhan, Elizabeth Manias, Upma Chitkara, Monika Latanik, Desiree Leone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Effective patient engagement has been associated with high quality health care. There is a dearth of evidence around effective engagement with consumers from ethnic minority backgrounds; specifically in relation to the role of cultural competence amongst healthcare professionals in effective engagement with consumers from ethnic minority backgrounds. To address this knowledge gap, we analysed the role of cultural competence in the consumer engagement approaches taken by community healthcare professionals working with consumers from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with 21 healthcare professionals employed across four community healthcare and affiliated services in four local government areas in Australia.

Results: Adopting patient-centric approaches (that seek to understand and be responsive to the patient as an individual) featured as an underpinning theme that transcended other emerging themes. Recognition of diversity within communities and individuals in those communities, all with their own story, was described as pivotal to effective engagement. This was encapsulated in the theme of Cultural standpoints and personal context that contained four further themes of: (1) Build foundations of trust and respect; (2) Diversify communication channels; (3) Generate system, service and community partnerships; (4) Take the time.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that cultural competence and effective consumer engagement are closely linked in ethnic minority populations. Embedding cultural competence as a health system, service and professional capability is therefore critical to ensure equitable healthcare quality for consumers from all ethnic backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number191
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Cultural competence
  • Healthcare quality
  • Patient engagement
  • Healthcare consumers

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