Cultural competency training has been proposed as a way to improve patient outcomes. There is a need for evidence showing that these interventions reduce health disparities. The authors conducted a systematic review addressing the effects of cultural competency training on patient-centered outcomes; assess quality of studies and strength of effect; and propose a framework for future research. They performed electronic searches in the MEDLINE/PubMed, ERIC, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Web of Science databases for original articles published in English between 1990 and 2010, and a bibliographic hand search. Studies that reported cultural competence educational interventions for health professionals and measured impact on patients and/or health care utilization as primary or secondary outcomes were included. Seven studies met inclusion criteria. Study quality was low to moderate with none of high quality; most studies did not adequately control for potentially confounding variables. There is limited research showing a positive relationship between cultural competency training and improved patient outcomes, but there remains a paucity of high quality research. Future work should address challenges limiting quality. We propose an algorithm to guide educators in designing and evaluating curricula, to rigorously demonstrate the impact on patient outcomes and health disparities.
An important policy initiative implemented for the past 40 years in Canada, refugee private sponsorship has attracted international attention as Europe continues to grapple with