Online Program

Healthcare Worker Intercultural Sensitivity Survey Findings Inform Organizational Cultural Awareness Initiative

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Judith Sabino, MPH, CDP, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
Jarret Patton, MD, FAAP, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
Jay Baglia, PhD, College of Communication, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Anthony Nerino, MA, Silver Spring, MD
Cross-cultural health care is essential to the delivery of high-quality health services. In addition, federal and regulatory requirements exist to ensure the delivery of language- and culturally-responsive services to meet equitable care goals.

Educational strategies are often used to increase clinician knowledge, attitudes and skills of cross cultural care (Like, 2011). However, tailored educational and organizational strategies are necessary to encourage effective cultural interactions given the varied backgrounds, perspectives and experiences healthcare workers (Bennett, 2003).  Findings from an intercultural sensitivity assessment of health network employees can inform educational programming to increase cultural awareness and foster organizational transformation.

Objective:  Explain how intercultural sensitivity survey findings can inform strategies to deliver cross-cultural and equitable health care.

Methods:  All employees were invited to complete the IRB-reviewed, web-based Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (Chen and Starosta, 2000). The ICS scale measures attitudes about interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds. Three open-ended questions asked how the network could enhance cultural sensitivity. All open-ended responses were analyzed and coded across key themes.  

Results:  A 35% (n=3446) response rate was achieved. Respondent sample characteristics were highly similar across.  The qualitative analysis found four themes:  education, language, community, and administrative interventions. Within each theme, correlations were found among respondents scoring at the lower end of the ICS scale with ethnocentric attitudes and cultural defensiveness. Additionally, higher ICS scores correlated with attitudes of acceptance and sensitivity.

Practice Implications:  Survey results, specifically open-ended responses, demonstrated range of perspectives to intercultural interactions. Educational interventions and organizational strategies were identified, based on this finding, to promote delivery of equitable care across network sites.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Explain how health network employee intercultural sensitivity survey findings can inform strategies to deliver cross cultural and equitable health care.

Keyword(s): Cultural Competency, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated as a qualitative data analyst on this project's research team and I lead Lehigh Valley Health Network's diversity and cultural awareness initiative.
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.