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The Impact of Comprehensive Cultural Competency Training on Learner Knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills

Objective: Examine the impact of comprehensive cultural competence training on learner knowledge, attitudes, and skills.

Background: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines cultural competence as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations. There is a proven link between culturally competent care and improved patient outcomes. Healthcare organizations are increasingly focused on providing inclusive services and decreasing racial/ethnic/gender health disparities within their client population. While the health care industry acknowledges the importance of cultural competence, there is a need for research studies examining the effectiveness of cultural competence intervention strategies and resulting outcomes. We will examine one such strategy by employing the use of a comprehensive course and skills tool offering and studying its effects on learner knowledge, attitudes, and skills while controlling for age, gender, and race/ethnicity.

Methods: The study will be a cluster (by site) randomized controlled trial with an intervention group and a comparison group. The intervention group will receive online training consisting of five courses related to cultural competency and a self-reflection / self-assessment tool. The courses will cover the following topics: cultural diversity, culturally responsive practices, basic communication and conflict management skills, working effectively with gender and sexual minorities, and advocacy and multicultural care. The comparison group will receive the online training at the end of the study. For both groups, we will measure knowledge, attitudes, and skills. We will collect data at preintervention, postintervention, and at 45-day follow-up. We will address the questions of this study using logistic regression and analysis of variance procedures.