3.08 Cultural competency

This measure reports on aspects of cultural competency, including discrimination and barriers to accessing health services.

Why is it important?

This measure reports on aspects of cultural competency, including discrimination and barriers to accessing services for Indigenous Australians. Improving the cultural competency of health‑care services can increase Indigenous Australians’ access to health care, increase the effectiveness of care that is received, and improve the disparities in health outcomes (Freeman et al. 2014). Cultural competency can be measured directly (self‑reporting on patient experience) or indirectly (for example, discharge against medical advice—see Measure 3.09—and employment of Indigenous health workers) (AHMAC 2017). However, there is limited data available on the cultural competence of health services (Paradies et al. 2014) or on effectiveness of interventions to address cultural competency in health care for Indigenous people (Clifford et al. 2015; Truong et al. 2014).

Related measures

Data sources

  • Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
  • Online Services Report Data Collection

References

  • AHMAC 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report. Canberra: AHMAC.
  • Clifford A, McCalman J, Bainbridge R & Tsey K 2015. Interventions to improve cultural competency in health care for Indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA: a systematic review, International Journal for Quality in Health Care 27/2:89–98.
  • Freeman T, Edwards T, Baum F, Lawless A, Jolley G, Javanparast S et al. 2014. Cultural respect strategies in Australian Aboriginal primary health care services: beyond education and training of practitioners. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 38:355–61.
  • Paradies Y, Truong M & Priest N 2014. A systematic review of the extent and measurement of healthcare provider racism. Journal of General Internal Medicine 29/2:364–87.
  • Truong M, Paradies Y & Priest N 2014. Interventions to improve cultural competency in health care: a systematic review of reviews. BMC Health Services Research 14:99.