Health care providers’ perceived versus actual cultural competency levels with Latino patients: a pilot study
Watson, Carol M., Day , David (2008) . Health care providers’ perceived versus actual cultural competency levels with Latino patients: a pilot study . In Proceedings: 4th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p.115-116
Latinos are the largest growing minority group in the United States and by 2030 are expected to comprise over twenty percent of the total population. Health care provider’s knowledge and understanding of a particular ethnic group can affect patient care, patient compliance, and facilitate informed decision making by the patient. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine health care providers’ perceived versus actual cultural competency levels with Latino patients. METHODS: A survey was conducted via the internet. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and cross tabulation with SPSS version 15. RESULTS: The valid survey response rate was 29% (n=113). In the gender issues section, 69.1% of the respondents who strongly agreed or agreed that they perceived themselves as culturally competent answered the actual competency questions incorrectly. In the four other important communication/behavior sections among Latinos: family issues, physical contact, nonverbal communication, and alternative medicine, the percentages were 44.0%, 55.7%, 39.3%, 29.4% respectively. CONCLUSION: Since Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, health care providers need to be aware of cultural differences when interacting with Latino patients. This study provided insight into health care providers’ perceived versus actual cultural competency levels. It was shown that in four out of five important areas of communication/behavior among Latino patients, greater than one third of all respondents perceived themselves as culturally competent while they were unable to correctly respond during the test of actual competency. In the future, this study may be used to educate health care providers on the importance of recognizing communication and behavioral differences among Latinos.
Paper presented to the 4th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, April 25, 2008.
Research completed at the Department of Physician Assistant, College of Health Professions