Cultural Competence in healthcare: A new required competence in response to the multiculturalism societies

2018 edition

Laia Raigal Aran


Background: The socio-economic and political changes that are taking place on a global level, involve what are known as migrations between populations. One of the main consequences of this situation are multicultural societies. This change is marked by the increase of immigrant patients who come to these services, requesting the care and attention they need. Observing their behavior and perceiving their sensations invites us to ask ourselves if the care provided by professionals fits their needs – linked, no doubt, to a culture that, in some aspects, may differ greatly from the native culture – and that can be perceived by this group as unsatisfactory.

Objective: Generate importance to the Cultural Competence in health care professionals in Spain by analyzing the actual state, create a tool to evaluate this construct and generate evidence to create formation in this aspect.

Method: It is based in a project composed by 3 phases: a)a systematic review; b) a psychometric; and c) a transversal study of the results. Phase a and b are already done.

Results: A systematic review of the ability to respond culturally to patients gave rise to an understanding of the competence that is already active in the United States. In Spain, even and the reality of being a society with a high rate of immigration, its health professionals have no training in this. From there, a scale was translated into Spanish to evaluate this construct: La Cultural Competence Assessment. The scale obtained a reliability of .84 with 20 items. It evaluates cultural awearness and cultural attitudes.

Discussion: From this point, it is intended to validate this scale more globally, and determine what values of professional competence there is in our territory. It will give us information about what measures should be improved to give a better care attention to people with different cultures.


Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of Healthcare Services: A Model of Care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13(3), 181-184.

La migración mundial en cifras [Internet]. Department of Ecinomic and Social Affairs. Population Diversion. 2013. de Sanidad y Consumo, E. (2009). Indicadores de buenas prácticas sobre seguridad del paciente. Gobierno de España, 99.