About The Authors

Marla B. Hall
Texas A&M University Department of Health and Kinesiology Division of Health Education
United States

Recent Health Education PhD graduate from Texas A&M University; Department of Health and Kinesiology; Division of Health Education

Jeffrey J. Guidry
Texas A&M University Department of Health and Kinesiology Division of Health Education
United States

Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology; Division of Health Education

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Literature Review of Cultural Competence Curriculum within the United States: An Ethical Implication in Academic Preparational Programs

Review Article


Objective: The purpose of this literature review is to explore literature focused on health related preparational programs’ ability, experiences and effectiveness in developing the skill sets of students to improve health outcomes of ethnic and racial minority populations.                                             Method: EbscoHost, MEDLINE, PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for articles published between 1998 and 2012 to identify research on cultural competency academic curriculum in health disciplines.  From this literature review, researchers extracted studies reported on cultural competency in collegiate programs and practitioner assessments. Result: Sixteen articles were identified, 10 original research studies and 6 review articles or commentaries. Of these, eight were from medicine, three from health education, two from nursing and three from pharmacy education. The majority of studies utilized a case study or multi-site assessment approach. Themes derived from the review include: administrative views and assessments; practitioner academic preparation analysis; student focused activities and; guided academic curriculum development. Conclusion: Groups currently experiencing poorer health status are expected to grow as a proportion of the total U.S. population; therefore, the future health of America as a whole will be influenced substantially by improving the health of these racial and ethnic minorities. As a result health education specialists must be culturally competent to implement effective programming targeting these populations. Cultural competence incorporates principles which contribute to understanding the cultural and social influence on individuals’ health behaviors and beliefs. Those employed in preparation programs have a responsibility to build the capacity of students through the utilization of appropriate curriculum.


Cultural competence; Academic preparational programs; Curriculum development


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