Online Program

A framework for promoting cultural competency among future health professionals

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Zi Yan, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., Department of Health Sciences, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA
Kevin Finn, EdD, ATC, CSCS, Department of Health Sciences, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA
Bradley Cardinal, Ph.D., School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Cultural competency is an important skill for health professionals, particularly in today's multicultural world. We overview a cultural competency demonstration program aimed at health-related majors using a peer-education and service-learning project involving domestic and international college students. Our demonstration project features a 12-session, theory-based peer education program aimed at developing cultural competency among domestic students while simultaneously facilitating international students' physical activity (PA) participation. The project uses diverse peer education formats (i.e., peer cooperation, peer counseling, peer modeling, peer tutoring) to promote multiple factors that influence PA participation (e.g., knowledge, self-efficacy, and skills). Depending on class size, peer groups are comprised of one or two international students for every one domestic student. The domestic students come from a health-related major or minor (e.g., kinesiology, health science). Peers meet formally once or twice per week depending on the length of the academic term (i.e., quarters or semesters). Approximately one hour is devoted to each session. The program features both cognitive and activity-based sessions. Sample sections include discussing how to merge PA into one's daily life; domestic peers assisting international peers with setting a goal and developing a plan to increase PA; American peers teaching their international peer partner a typical “American” physical activity. The content of this demonstration project can be modified based on different health behaviors and other factors such as ethnicity, gender, region, or time of year. This framework can be adapted into other physical activity (PA) and health promotion curriculums or college health promotion programs.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the meaning and role of cultural competence for health professionals. Demonstrate a peer education plan to facilitate cultural competency for health major students through interaction with international students.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been trained in the fields of public health and exercise science. I have received funding to implement cultural competency related research. I have received research related awards including "OAHPERD 2010 The Graduate Student Scholarship" and "American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Research Consortium 2011 Graduate Student Award Finalist" I have 4 publications in the peer-reviewed journals in the last 5 years and 4 manuscripts are currently in press.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.