Cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments in nursing: a literature review

J Transcult Nurs. 2015 May;26(3):308-21. doi: 10.1177/1043659614524790. Epub 2014 May 9.


The author reviewed cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments developed and published by nurse researchers since 1982. Both models and instruments were examined in terms of their components, theoretical backgrounds, empirical validation, and psychometric evaluation. Most models were not empirically tested; only a few models developed model-based instruments. About half of the instruments were tested with varying levels of psychometric properties. Other related issues were discussed, including the definition of cultural competence and its significance in model and instrument development, limitations of existing models and instruments, impact of cultural competence on health disparities, and further work in cultural competence research and practice.

Keywords: cultural competence; cultural competence assessment; cultural competence definitions; health disparities; healthcare disparities; instrument construction; instrument validation; nursing models; psychometric properties; transcultural nursing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Competency*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Nursing Research
  • Psychometrics