Promoting cultural competency education in physical therapy curriculum
Purpose: This study aimed to: (1) Examine the impact of sociocultural education on self-perceived cultural awareness (knowledge, attitudes) and skills in entry-level PT students; and (2) Determine the relationships between demographic characteristics (gender, age, ethnicity) and self-perceived cultural competency.Methods/Description: Pilot data on 48 first-year entry-level PT students (age mean±SD= 26 ± 3 yrs, gender= 17F/31M) is presented as part of a larger study. Data was extracted from student’s pre- and post- self-assessment questionnaires during a sociocultural education course and their perceptions of cultural awareness (knowledge, attitudes) and skills were collected. The course included 14-weeks of lectures, self-reflective writing, focused case studies, interactive community-based activities and evaluation of multicultural research. Within-group differences were determined by paired t-tests, and correlations were examined by pearson product correlations. The ongoing study results will be included.Results/Outcomes: Significant improvements (p<0.001) were found in student perceptions of their overall cultural competence (mean±SD score, pre= 64.3 ± 32.5 vs. post= 73.9 ± 31.3), as well as in the subscales of awareness (mean±SD score, pre= 50 ± 17.1 vs. post= 56 ± 16.3), and skills (mean±SD score pre=14.2 ± 6.9 vs. post =17.8 ± 4.7) after the course. Cultural awareness was found to be significantly related to skills (r=0.67), suggesting that improvements in cultural knowledge and attitudes after the educational training may transfer to greater self-perceived patient encounter skills. No significant correlations were found between student demographics and cultural competency.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: The pilot analysis suggests that first-year PT students were able to enhance their cultural knowledge, attitudes and skills after the sociocultural education. A focused, well-planned curriculum in cultural competence can assist in meeting the current APTA vision of professional commitment to cultural competency. Inclusion of specific sociocultural education within the PT curriculum should allow the entry-level PT students to: 1) be aware of personal biases, 2) enhance their knowledge on various healthcare barriers and socio-cultural risk factors affecting patient care, and 3) develop culturally-sensitive skills in addressing the healthcare needs of diverse populations.References: American Physical Therapy Association. Blueprint for teaching cultural competence in physical therapy education, 2014. Copti N, Shahriari R, Wanek L, Fitzsimmons A. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion in Physical Therapy: Advocating for Cultural Competency in Physical Therapist Education Across the United States. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 2016; 30(4), 11-16. Palombaro KM, Dole RL, Black JD. Curricular Integration and Measurement of Cultural Competence Development in a Group of Physical Therapy Students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2015; 15(5): 82-96. Echeverri M, Brookover C, Kennedy K. Assessing Pharmacy Students’ Self-Perception of Cultural Competence. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013; 24(10): 64-92. Jackson V. Cultural competence in physical therapy education: student perceptions on the effectiveness of cultural competence education methodology. Journal of the National Society of Allied Health, Spring-Summer 2011: 31-38.