Design and Evaluation of interprofessional cross-cultural communication sessions
The 2013 National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) call for healthcare professionals to provide quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices. Accreditation organizations for health professional programs require their curriculum to adequately prepare future practitioners for serving culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Another common curricular need of health professional programs is interprofessional education (IPE). This study presents data that evaluates two IPE culturally competent communication sessions designed for pharmacy and nursing students. Teams of nursing and pharmacy students (n = 160) engaged in case studies focused on developing cross-cultural communication skills, using the LEARN model. Quantitative survey data collected pre-test and post-test measured cultural competency (including subscales of perceived skills, perceived knowledge, confidence in encounter, and attitude) and knowledge related to culturally competent communication. Univariate ANOVA results indicate that actual knowledge as measured by the test and all four Clinical Cultural Competency Questionnaire (CCCQ) subscales significantly increased after the IPE sessions. Pharmacy students scored higher than nursing students on the knowledge pre-test, and nursing students had a more positive attitude at pre-test. The IPE sessions effectively addressed all learning outcomes and will continue in future course offerings. Using cross-cultural communication as a thematic area for IPE program development resulted in educational benefits for the students. To further strengthen nursing and pharmacy students’ interprofessional practice, additional IPE opportunities are to be explored.