An exploration of the notion and nature of the construct of cultural safety and its applicability to the Australian health care context

J Transcult Nurs. 2007 Jul;18(3):247-56. doi: 10.1177/1043659607301304.


Cultural safety has been promoted by its New Zealand proponents as an effective process for managing cultural risk in health care and improving the cultural responsiveness of mainstream health services when delivering care to culturally diverse populations. Its effectiveness in this regard has not, however, been comprehensively investigated. A key purpose of this study was to explore and describe what is known and understood about the notion of cultural safety and its possible application to and in Australian health care domains. Findings from the study indicate that the notion of cultural safety is conceptually problematic, poorly understood, and underresearched and, unless substantially revised, cannot be meaningfully applied to the cultural context of Australia.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel / ethnology*
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Australia
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Family / ethnology
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / ethnology*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Prejudice
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Social Values
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration
  • Transcultural Nursing / education
  • Transcultural Nursing / organization & administration