International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Health Care Disparities and Training in Culturally Competent Mental Health Counseling: A Review of the Literature and Implications For Research
K. Elizabeth Oakes

Cultural competency has been lauded as an effective, direct intervention to address health care disparity issues, and there is much empirical and clinical evidence to support the utility of cultural competency training. The major criticism of this evidence is the paucity of content validation studies of the competency construct itself. This literature review addresses what has been repeatedly identified as a critical empirical need – clarification of the cultural competency process in the professional development of mental health care providers working with health care disparity populations. In this literature review, the proposed concept of cultural attunement has 5 elements that signify a relevant skills training model for developing multicultural sensitivity and awareness. The call for research is clear: the cultural attunement concept needs to be operationally defined and measured, which can then lead to the design of a training model directed at enhancing the cultural competency performance of mental health counselors.

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