PURPOSE: The United States is rapidly becoming more culturally diverse; thus, therapists need to be equipped with an adequate skill set to provide culturally inclusive services. Although educational institutions and continuing education courses provide some form of cultural competency training, there is no standardized approach currently for occupational therapists. METHODS: This article describes an evidenced-based course which was used to develop cultural competence among 11 occupational therapy practitioners. The online components included activities to increase knowledge, skills, comfort, awareness, and resources for practice settings. A pre-test/post-test format using the Clinical Cultural Competency Questionnaire (CCCQ) was used to gather quantitative information. RESULTS: The outcomes of this study indicate that completion of evidence-based educational modules on cultural competency can increase knowledge, skills, comfort, and awareness for occupational therapy practitioners, providing an impetus for further exploration. The highest percent of change from pre to post survey was in knowledge (150%) related to cultural competence following the completion of the intervention. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Because health care professionals have an ethical responsibility to be culturally competent, this article highlights how advantageous it is for healthcare professionals to complete an online, evidence-based course to increase their self-awareness and awareness of other cultures.

Author Bio(s)

Tracy Chappell, OTD, OTR/L, IASTM is the founder of Inclusive Methods for Practitioners Achieving Cultural-Competent Therapy (I.M.P.A.C.T.), a nonprofit dedicated to providing occupational therapy practitioners with resources and knowledge to develop their cultural competence. Currently, she is a Travel Occupational Therapist employed across the country in various settings.

Ingrid Provident Ed.D., OTR/L, FAOTA serves as Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Post Professional online OTD program at Chatham University. Research interests include innovative education practices including global experiences which promotes students’ ability to construct their knowledge through active occupational therapy fieldwork.




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