Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Development and Validation of the Cultural Competence Assessment Instrument: A Factorial Analysis

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Development and Validation of the Cultural Competence Assessment Instrument: A Factorial Analysis

Article excerpt

The United States is becoming increasingly diverse. Recent data indicates that in 2007 the total non-European White population registered at 34% and that people of color have become numerical majorities in some of the largest U.S. cities (Minckler, 2008). As the ethnically diverse population in the US increases, so does the number of people with chronic health conditions and disability (Balcazar, Suarez-Balcazar, Taylor-Ritzler, & Keys, 2010; Fiscella, Franks, Gold, & Clancy, 2000; Stone, 2004). Given these trends, rehabilitation professionals are more likely than ever to encounter individuals with disabilities from diverse ethnic backgrounds in their practice and/or research endeavors and may not necessarily feel prepared to address their needs (Balcazar, Suarez-Balcazar & Taylor-Ritzler, 2009; Leung, Flowers, Talley, & Sanderson, 2007; Suarez-Balcazar & Rodakowski, 2007).

Cultural competence has emerged as essential in understanding and effectively serving people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds (Balcazar, Suarez-Balcazar, Willis, & Alvarado, 2010). In fact, the construct of cultural competence has received much attention in several fields, including rehabilitation (Balcazar, et al., 2009; Balcazar, Suarez-Balcazar, Willis, 2010; Lewis & Shamburger, 2010; Matteliano & Stone, 2010; Moffat & Tung, 2004; Olney & Kennedy, 2002; Wilson, 2002); counseling (Dunn, Smith, & Montoya, 2006; Sodowsky, 1996; Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992); health care and nursing (Campinha-Bacote, 2001; Leninger, 2000; Purnell & Paulanka, 2008); and other health professions such as occupational therapy (Black & Wells, 2007; Bonder, Martin, & Miracle, 2004; Suarez-Balcazar & Rodakowski, 2007; Suarez-Balcazar et al, 2009).

Despite the attention that cultural competence has received within these bodies of literature, researchers and practitioners have highlighted the lack of a unified definition of cultural competence. Many of the available definitions propose something slightly different and some definitions omit that becoming culturally competent is a process that takes time and effort (Balcazar, Suarez-Balcazar, Willis, et al. 2010). One of the most commonly accepted definitions of cultural competence in the healthcare field was developed in the nursing profession by Campinha-Bacote (1999). According to the author, cultural competence is demonstrated when the practitioner understands and appreciates differences in health beliefs and behaviors, recognizes and respects variations that occur within cultural groups, and is able to adjust his/her practice to provide effective interventions for people from various ethnic groups (Campinha-Bacote, 1999). In the field of rehabilitation counseling, the new code of professional ethics emphasizes the capacity of counselors to work with diverse groups of individuals while embracing a cultural approach that supports the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of individuals with disabilities within their social and cultural context (Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, 2008).

Regarding the process of becoming culturally competent, Suarez-Balcazar and Rodakowski (2007) concluded that "becoming culturally competent is an on-going contextual, developmental, and experiential process of personal growth that results in professional understanding and improved ability to adequately serve individuals who look, think, and behave differently from us" (p. 15). Balcazar, Suarez-Balcazar, Taylor- Ritzler, et al., (2010) added that the process of becoming culturally competent can take place through repetitive engagements with diverse groups, by increasing one's critical awareness and knowledge, and by having opportunities for reflection and analysis of professional performance. Professionals are often challenged by the growing number of encounters with immigrants from all areas of the world, whom may require language and cultural adaptations in order to receive services. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.