Cultural Sensitivity



Cultural Sensitivity


Cultural sensitivity refers to the awareness as well as the sensitivity to culture and other practices. Cultural sensitivity can encompass examining different cultures and how they should be accurately approached in the health care. It also includes how to communicate according to within the health care setting. Cultural sensitivity is important area because it can impact the way people work in the health care facilities. It also encompasses valuing differences so as harassment and discrimination, either intended or not, do not happen. Culture is a fundamental and complex concept with consist of broad aspects of people in the health care setting (Campinha-Bacote, 2003). It includes the concepts of sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, disability, race, ethnicity, profession and socioeconomic status. Cultural sensitivity stems from this understanding in that; it is must encompass interpersonal skill as well as the knowledge that will allow the providers of health care, appreciate, understand, and work with individuals from different cultures other than theirs. It also consists of acceptance and awareness of the people’s cultural differences, knowledge, self-awareness of the cultures of the patient and adapting to the skills. Many cultural groups, including lesbian and gay people, individuals with disabilities, lower socio-economic groups and ethnic minorities, for example, African-Americans (Campinha-Bacote, 2003). Cultural sensitivity is considered one of the reasons peoples do not access quality health care services because people are not aware as well as understand the effects attached to one’s culture and how it may be perceived by others. An individual’s culture should not appear to be dominant in the place of work.

Healthcare Disparities and How they Relate to Cultural Sensitivity in the Healthcare Setting

Health care disparities, by definition, refer to the differences in health as well as healthcare between population groups. It typically involves a higher burden of illness, mortality experienced in the health care setting, disabilities, and injury by one population group about another. Moreover, it refers to the differences between groups in the health care facilities regarding provision of care services, its access, and quality given. This issue are related to the people’s cultural sensitivity in that the issue surrounds this concept are based on socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability status. Similarly, cultural insensitivity arises from disparities that in return causes care limit as well as continued improvement in overall quality of cares (Campinha-Bacote, 2003). Health care disparities can be exacerbated by looking at some things that comprise specific health conditions, provider biases, differences in access to care, poor patient-provider communication as well as health literacy. The Institute of the Medical report shows ethnic and racial minorities commonly receive lower quality of care than their white counter parts even after controlling factors like the socioeconomic status and insurance.

U.S. Populations Currently Affected the Most by Disparity and What the Statistics Reflect these Effects

There are many dimensions of disparities in the United States, particularly in the health care sector including ethnicity, sexual identity, disability, geographical location, social-economic status, and age. All these contributed to the people’s ability or inability to access the health care in the United States. The most affected people are the minority grouped regarding race. Health care disparity mostly reflects amongst the people of color. This inequality prevents individuals from receiving treatment and care. For example, the African- American are the most likely to require heath care service, however, in most of the cases they are not likely to receive them. Disparity among such groups of people has been documented in some of the studies including cardiology, kidney treatment, and organ transplantation among other areas of treatment. Certainly, the differences in treatment arise from distinct factors encompassing incomes, clinical characteristic, and biological differences. For the people of color, these differences are marked at the time spent the quantity of the doctors’ offices between the African-American and the Whites as well as the quality of health care given to these individuals. The whites in the United States are more likely to receive more and more thorough evaluation procedure as well as better treatment and care as compared to the people of color. Also, there has been different in the number of white and blacks who visit the doctor’s offices even when African-American has the control of the income, insurance, and education. Further studies demonstrate that doctors are not aggressive when it comes to treating the minority patients. In most of the instances, the most favored are the whites. As a matter of fact, the researcher has indicated combined effect of gender and race leading to significant different health care from the black women. In the recent analysis, it is estimated that thirty 30% direct medical cost for the people of color, Asian, and he Hispanics are excess cost owing to the health inequality and that the economy loses approximately $309 billion yearly because of the direct and indirect cost of disparities. Moreover, the report shows that as the population becomes more and more diverse, the people of color will account for half of the people in the United States by the years 2050, as such this is expected to increase the need to address health care disparities as well as cultural insensitivities.

Challenges to Ensuring Cultural Sensitivity in the Healthcare Setting

Some of the obstacles that prevent ensuring cultural sensitivity in the health care include lack of cultural sensitivity programs that would address the invisible and subtle differences between people of diverse culture. There are a few programs that can deal with the occurrence of this issue (The Source, 1996). The most important thing that such program should achieve is cultural awareness. Another issue is that globalization, for example, migration has exacerbated the problem and cultural group as well as continues to attract people around the world (Julie, 2011). For instance, in the United States, 32% make up the Asian Immigrants in the U.S, 37% Hispanic, and 18% increase in Alaskans and Indians while 13% encompasses the black American (The Source, 1996). Such increase in diversity of people leads to cultural insensitivity. Only a few of these individuals receive medical care; the problem is even further compounded by the fact that those that manage to get access to medical services are underserved. Lack of cultural competence is one of the primary reason these persons do not receive adequate medical care (Julie, 2011).

Proposed Solution to Issues Surrounding Cultural Sensitivity in the Healthcare Setting

This research indicates the need for communication; language is the most fundamental means in which a professional in healthcare use to communicate with patients. This is one of the leading solutions that can be applied in bridging the gap between the health care providers and patients regarding cultural sensitivity. There is also the need to understand the different racial or ethnic backgrounds when dealing with culturally different individuals (Julie, 2011). This is because poor cultural relevant interaction hinders proper professional relationship with the patients in a clinical setting. Gender, age, and the purpose of interaction are elements essential for a clinician to realize clinician-patient-relationship. It is important to achieve this result since cultural competency is necessary because to improve diagnostic accuracy as well as enhancement of various aspects of treatment in the different clinical settings.

How to Promote Cultural Sensitivity

For one to promote cultural sensitivity, it is imperative to treat each as a person and celebrate diversity among them. Also, one need to reflect on the own cultural background as well as values that are, identifying what the person learned when growing up (Parrish & Linder-VanBerschot, 2010). This is crucial so that they can be more and more quickly find any parallels between their lives and those that they attend to. Furthermore, a health care provider resorts to building trust and learning about several cultures, particularly, those in the community. Exploring the factors that impact the decision-making in people culture is another important thing a health caregiver needs to consider. Such individuals need to face their misconceptions about their culture and those of others and remain conscious about when they act as if their cultural norms should be other person’s norms. Another way of handling this issue is by developing a face-to-face communication as well as written styles that can be considered successful with most of the patients in most of the times (Parrish & Linder-VanBerschot, 2010). Lastly, there is the need to keep in mind the particular psychological stressors relevant to particular groups. These encompass migration, socioeconomic status, and acculturation stress.


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