Self-administered instruments to measure cultural competence of health professionals: a systematic review

Teach Learn Med. 2007 Spring;19(2):180-90. doi: 10.1080/10401330701333654.


Background: Tools that measure knowledge, attitudes, and skills reflecting cultural competence of health professionals have not been comprehensively identified, described, or critiqued.

Summary: We systematically reviewed English-language articles published from 1980 through June 2003 that evaluated the effectiveness of cultural competence curricula targeted at health professionals by using at least one self-administered tool. We abstracted information about targeted providers, evaluation methods, curricular content, and the psychometric properties of each tool. We included 45 articles in our review. A total of 45 unique instruments (32 learner self-assessments, 13 written exams) were used in the 45 articles. One third (15/45) of the tools had demonstrated either validity or reliability, and only 13% (6/45) had demonstrated both reliability and validity.

Conclusions: Most studies of cultural competence training used self-administered tools that have not been validated. The results of cultural competence training could be interpreted more accurately if validated tools were used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Professional Competence*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires