152928 From cultural destructiveness to cultural proficiency: Increasing cultural competence in working with African Americans

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 3:10 PM

Angela Johnson, MPPA , Center for Community Based Health Disparities, My Brother's Keeper, Incorporated, Ridgeland, MS
Mark A. Colomb, PhD, CRA , CBA 2 Project, My Brother's Keeper, Incorporated, Ridgeland, MS
Natille Duncan, MSEd, MIT , The CBA 2 Project, My Brother's Keeper, Incorporated, Ridgeland, MS
Issues: Despite recent improvements in the overall health of Americans, substantial health care disparities still exist among African Americans in the United States. Cultural insensitivity is a major barrier that impedes the capacity of healthcare providers to deliver services that adequately meet the needs of African Americans. African American community health workers can provide cultural linkages between health care providers and the communities they serve.

Description: This roundtable will focus on a new and innovative one-day, intensive, interactive, skills building course entitled “African American Cultural Competence to Eliminate Health Disparities”. This course is designed to provide healthcare workers with the necessary skills needed to recognize health-related beliefs and practices of African Americans to improve the quality of services they deliver. The roundtable discussion will center on gaining cultural competence through a continuum that ranges from cultural destructiveness to cultural proficiency.

Lessons Learned: The skills building course “African American Cultural Competence to Eliminate Health Disparities” has been delivered to 7 community health care organizations. Quantitative cumulative evaluation data indicated 75% of the participants strongly agreed that they learned new skills; and 75% strongly agreed that their awareness about cultural competence had increased due to the course. The evaluation data also revealed that 87.5% of the participants strongly agreed that they could apply the cultural competence skills in their healthcare organizations within the next three months.

Recommendations: Utilizing a developmental process to building cultural competence is recommended as the most effective means to increase cultural competence skills among healthcare providers.

Learning Objectives:
1. Acknowledge their own cultural beliefs and identify how those beliefs may impact the quality of healthcare services provided to African-Americans. 2. Recognize how differences in culture can significantly impact how African Americans seek and receive healthcare services. 3. Understand the vital role cultural competence plays in reducing health care disparities among African Americans.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.