AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Cultural competence and diversity responsiveness: how to make a difference in healthcare?

by M.C. Seeleman

Institution: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Year: 2014
Record ID: 1260249
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/11245/1.412677


The increasing ethnic diversity of Western societies poses new challenges to healthcare. Healthcare that is responsive to diversity has often been referred to as ‘culturally competent healthcare’. This thesis aims at contributing to a scientific basis for healthcare that effectively responds to patients’ diversity at various levels. First, the studies presented offer insight in the knowledge, attitudes and skills that individual healthcare providers should possess to provide good quality care to ethnically diverse patient populations. Second, it addresses the development, content and assessment of cultural competence in medical education. Finally, this thesis provides insight in the policies and actions healthcare organisations should implement to guarantee equitable access and quality of care for all patients. This work shows that responding effectively to patients’ diversity seems to come down to a balance between working in a patient-centred way, thereby acknowledging the uniqueness of patient experiences, and to take those groups characteristics into account that make certain groups of patients (e.g. ethnic minority groups) particularly vulnerable. The findings emerging from this work contribute to the systematic development and implementation of equitable, culturally competent and diversity-responsive healthcare.