Online Program

Assessment of multicultural competence of a group of mental health providers who care for schizophrenia patients in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ivelisse Morales, Psy.D., Winchester Community Mental Health Center, Inc., Winchester, VA
Juan Nazario, Psy.D., Programa PITIRRE, Iniciativa Comunitaria de Investigación, Inc., Bayamón, PR
Sean Sayers, PhD, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Psychosis is a syndrome that occurs in many cultures interpretations are based on cultural beliefs. This said, mental health professionals are called to be multiculturally competent. However, clinicians are not free from cultural influences. The present study included a sample of 53 mental health providers, who practice in Puerto Rico, from the following fields: Social Work, Psychological Counseling, Clinical Psychology, and Psychiatry. A questionnaire was developed to measure multicultural competency based on four components: awareness, knowledge, and skills as well as cognitive, affective, and cultural empathy. An exploratory factor analysis found that 15 items measured one main component (multicultural competencies) that explains 31% of the total variance. A Varimax rotation revealed that the items could regroup themselves in four factors that explain 63% of the total variance: awareness, knowledge, skills, and therapeutic alliance. The final scale has an internal reliability index (Cronbach's alpha) of .82. In summary, results indicate that 58% of the participants demonstrated multicultural competences. Participants displayed a low level of multicultural competence in the test as hole, but a high competence when evaluated by subscales. The questionnaire managed to keep the essential components suggested by the literature to assess multicultural competencies. This study is the first contribution to several disciplines regarding multicultural competence to intervene with patients with schizophrenia in Puerto Rico.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify what factors are needed to measure multicultural competence. List the multicultural competences a group of mental health professionals in Puerto Rico who care for schizophrenia patients. Discuss the importance of why mental health providers of different disciplines who care for schizophrenia patients should demonstrate multicultural competence with this population.

Keyword(s): Minority Health, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an early career mental health provider with a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. I have worked with minority people for the past five years in Puerto Rico and currently in United States. In the past two years I have worked with inpatient psychiatric population. Minority issues and schizophrenia are among my topic of interests.
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.