Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Australia experience both significant health disparities and a lack of access to services. Consequently, there have been calls for culturally appropriate services for people with chronic disease in CALD populations. This paper presents a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of culturally appropriate interventions to manage or prevent chronic disease in CALD communities. Evidence was sought from randomized controlled trials and controlled studies that examined strategies for promoting cultural competence in health service delivery to CALD communities. The outcomes examined included changes in consumer health behaviours, utilisation/satisfaction with the service, and the cultural competence of health-care providers. Of the 202 studies that were identified only 24 met the inclusion criteria. The five categories of intervention that were identified included: (1) the use of community-based bi-lingual health workers; (2) providing cultural competency training for health workers; (3) using interpreter service for CALD people; (4) using multimedia and culturally sensitive videos to promote health for CALD people and (5) establishing community point-of-care services for CALD people with chronic disease. The review supported the use of trained bi-lingual health workers, who are culturally competent, as a major consideration in the development of an appropriate health service model for CALD communities.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.