Module 4 – Part 2 – Practical value – a summary

In dealing with people of diverse origins, there is not one particular “recipe” but many ways on the path to reach cultural sensitivity. It is a continuous process that needs attention in day-to-day work and in challenging and difficult situations.

In the care for refugees it is important to be sensible both to cultural similarities and to differences. Providing help and support that marginalized people are able to accept, requires new social competencies every day. Understanding the fact that there are different explanatory models of illness and idioms of distress is one important step towards that. Furthermore, attaining a level of understanding of the individual patient’s life world is critical to diagnostic practice and consensual treatment negotiation.

Cultural sensitivity and transcultural competence…

  • … enable health care providers to provide better care and help avoid misunderstandings, among staff and patients
  • … enable better understanding, better diagnosis and better adherence to medical advice by the patients
  • … leads to more equity in health care.

Further information:

Cattacin, Sandro, Antonio Chiarenza and Dagmar Domenig (2013). “Equity Standards for Health Care Organisations: a Theoretical Framework.” Diversity and Equality in Health and Care 10(4): 249-258. []

Council of Europe. Committee of Ministers. Declaration on cultural diversity.  (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 7 December 2000 at the 733rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies).

[] (retrieved: June 14, 2016).

Saha, S., Beach, M.C., Cooper, L.A. (2009). Patient centeredness, cultural competence, and healthcare quality. Journal of the National Medical Association, 100 (11): 1275-85. []

Video on Transcultural Nursing: