Objective: This pilot study investigates the impact of an online, interactive simulation involving an Arab American Muslim patient on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of 2nd-year medical students regarding culturally competent healthcare, both in general and specific to Arab American Muslim patients.
Method: Participants (N=199), were 2nd-year Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine students enrolled in a behavioral medicine course that included instruction on culturally competent healthcare. Students were randomly assigned to a control (N=102) or an experimental group (N=97). The experimental group was directed to an online, interactive patient simulation that featured an Arab American Muslim patient, and both groups completed a modified Clinical Cultural Competence Questionnaire to assess their knowledge, skills, and attitudes about culturally competent healthcare in general and specific to Arab American Muslim patients.
Results: There were knowledge and skills differences on two outcome measures for Arab American Muslim cultural competence measures in the experimental group. Across all of the measures, bilingual participants scored higher than English-speaking-only participants.
Conclusion: Preliminary data support the hypothesis that an online, interactive patient simulation involving the care of an Arab American Muslim patient has the potential to improve the knowledge and skills of 2nd-year medical students regarding the care of Arab American Muslim patients beyond the basic cultural-competence curriculum.