Cultural competency: Agenda for Cultural Competency Using Literature and Evidence

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2006 Sep;2(3):420-38. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2006.07.008.


Background: Cultural competency has been recognized as an important issue relevant to all health professions. A research agenda is needed to establish a systematic approach to developing an understanding of factors relevant to the delivery of culturally competent health care.

Objective: Within the context of existing literature, evidence-based, concrete recommendations are developed as an Agenda for Cultural Competency Using Literature and Evidence (ACCULTURE).

Methods: First, key points representing opportunities for intervening in promotion of cultural competent health care are discussed. Following is a review of existing literature with a focus on identifying next steps for future research. Recommendations for licensing, education, and continuing education requirements suggest developing educational research establishing course content and delivery strategies that have measurable impact on improving cultural competency. In addition, existing initiatives need to be evaluated regarding effectiveness in recruiting, retaining, and preparing a diverse workforce. Patient care recommendations focus on further developing an understanding of the factors impacting health outcomes for culturally diverse patients.

Results: Further work is needed for translating theoretically-based research into concrete curricula maintaining evidence-based outcomes. It is important to continue with promoting policies ensuring that research and clinical trials include diverse samples and a broad range of variables implicated in differential outcomes.

Conclusions: Based on connections between cultural competency and workforce diversity established within existing literature, data are needed regarding the effectiveness of existing initiatives promoting scholarships, grants, and incentives for improving workforce diversity and funding research on diversity issues. Finally, additional research is needed to evaluate existing and new policies for funding services and access for health services.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Pharmacy
  • Pharmacists*