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ERIC Number: EJ1080526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1527-9316
Curricular Integration and Measurement of Cultural Competence Development in a Group of Physical Therapy Students
Palombaro, Kerstin M.; Dole, Robin L.; Black, Jill D.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v15 n5 p82-96 Oct 2015
Introduction and Background: The link between cultural competence and effective physical therapy encounters is established. Physical therapist educational programs face the challenge of fostering the cultural competence of students in effective and meaningful ways within the curriculum. They also face the challenge of measuring the development of cultural competence to establish efficacy in the curriculum. One program measured the development of cultural competence in its students using the Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence Among Healthcare Professionals-Student Version (IAPCC-SV) before and after the program's various educational opportunities immersed throughout the curriculum that could serve to increase cultural competency. In the three-year curriculum, the students participated in both mandatory and voluntary experiential learning opportunities. Required didactic presentations and activities were integrated throughout the curriculum and designed to enhance cultural competence. Voluntary experiences included providing service and/or leadership to a student-run pro bono clinic. The program was interested in whether cultural competency increased after these experiences and whether leadership opportunities or additional hours of voluntary service beyond the class median caused increases that exceeded the minimal detectable change (MDC) reported in the literature. Methods: All students completed the IAPCC-SV at the beginning of their Doctor of Physical Therapy education and again at the end of their final year of didactic curriculum. Results: For the class of 2011, a Wilcoxon signed ranks test noted a significant increase in IAPCC-SV scores from pre-test (56.51 +/- 4.82) to post-test (64.16 +/- 6.19), p = 0.001. For the class of 2012, a Wilcoxon signed ranks test noted a significant increase in IAPCC-SV scores from pre-test (58.87 +/- 5.67) to post-test (64.13 +/- 5.47), p = 0.001. Sixteen students from the class of 2011 and 13 from the class of 2012 exceeded the 8.57-point MDC of the IAPCC-SV. Discussion and Conclusion: Exposure to a variety of cross-cultural encounters throughout a physical therapy curriculum significantly increases self-rating of cultural competence in these graduate students. Students who take advantage of volunteer leadership roles in extensive cross-cultural encounters may be more likely to achieve an increase that exceeds the MDC on the IAPCC-SV. These results are particularly interesting given that the students themselves were ethnically homogeneous and did not experience cultural diversity within the constituents that made up their class or faculty.
Indiana University. 755 West Michigan Street UL 1180D, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel: 317-274-5647; Fax: 317-278-2360; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A