Cultural formulation guidelines

Transcult Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;46(3):383-405. doi: 10.1177/1363461509342942.


The outline for the Cultural Formulation (CF) introduced in DSM-IV does not present any method for collecting the required cultural information. The absence of specific guidelines and illustrative cases has hampered its wider use. This article offers a practical approach to preparing a Cultural Formulation as a component of culturally competent clinical care. We summarize the rationale for the four sections of the CF, describe the process of conducting culturally focused clinical interviews, and present examples of questions or lines of inquiry that can be used to collect the information needed to construct the CF. An online supplement provides case examples of cultural formulations applied to patients seen in the US.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Competency*
  • Curriculum
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interview, Psychological / standards*
  • Mental Disorders / classification
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Psychiatry / education*