Facilitating occupational therapy student learning to enhance cross-cultural effectiveness
Gilbertson, Barbara Carol Hooper
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Developing cultural awareness and effectiveness is critical to meaningful and successful occupational therapy practice and of concern to occupational therapists worldwide (World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 2010). Occupational therapy graduates, not fully representative of the demographics of the populations they will meet clinically, must be able to work effectively with individuals and systems and acquire the ability to understand the interconnectedness of culture and its influence on socioeconomics, health, wellness, specific diagnostic conditions and health disparities (Black & Wells, 2007). This doctoral project argues that the term cultural effectiveness communicates a more collaborative process and realistic outcome than the term cultural competence. Based on a review of theories and effective approaches for teaching and learning about cultural effectiveness this doctoral project includes a review of the St. Catherine University Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Masters of Arts in Occupational Therapy curriculum. Suggestions are recommended for content and outcome measures to enhance occupational therapy students' reflective, client-centered, culturally effective practice.
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