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Cultural competence

Cultural competence is the capacity to provide effective healthcare taking into consideration people's cultural beliefs, behaviours and needs. Cultural competence is both a process and an output, and results from the synthesis of knowledge and skills which we acquire during our personal and professional lives and to which we are constantly adding. The achievement of cultural competence requires the synthesis of previously gained awareness, knowledge and sensitivity, and its application in the assessment of clients' needs, clinical diagnosis and other caring skills. A most important component of this stage is the ability to recognise and challenge racism and other forms of discrimination and oppressive practice.


Papadopoulos I (Ed): (2006): Transcultural Health and Social Care: Development of Culturally Competent Practitioners. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. Edinburgh.

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