Significant increases in cultural diversity in most regions of the world over the last 40 years has made provision of culturally competent care an imperative for health professionals. However, studies indicate that culturally and linguistically diverse patients experience significantly more adverse health events when hospitalised than English speaking people, with misunderstandings, miscommunication, and culturally unsafe care frequently reported.
The notion of cultural competence being integral to safe and effective clinical practice is undisputed, yet the importance of cultural empathy, an antecedent to cultural competence, has received limited attention in the literature. Cultural empathy refers to the learned ability to perceive and share experiences through the unique lens of values, beliefs and perspectives of people from cultural backgrounds different to one’s own. Cultural empathy is a key attribute of professional competence and as such should be a key focus area in health professional education.
In this project we developed, implemented and evaluated a 3D simulation designed to enhance nursing students’ cultural empathy towards culturally and linguistically diverse patients. The results indicated that students’ empathy scores significantly increased after exposure to the 3D simulation experience.
Courtney-Pratt, H., Levett-Jones, T., Lapkin, S., Pitt, V., Gilligan, C., Rossiter, R. Everson, N. & Jones, D. (2015). Development and psychometric testing of the Satisfaction with Cultural Simulation Experience Scale. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(6), 530-536.
Everson, N. Levett-Jones, T., Lapkin, S., Pitt, V., Vander riet, P., Rossiter, R. Courtney-Pratt, H., Gilligan, C., & Jones, D. (2015). Measuring the impact of a 3D simulation experience on nursing students’ cultural empathy using a modified version of the Kiersma-Chen Empathy Scale. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24, 2849-2858
Everson, N. Levett-Jones, T., Pitt, V., Lapkin, S., Van Der Riet, P., Rossiter, R. Jones, D., Gilligan, C. & Courtney-Pratt, H. (2018). Analysis of the Empathic Concern subscale of the Emotional Response Questionnaire in a study evaluating the impact of a 3D cultural simulation. International Journal of Nursing Education Studies, 15(1), 1-14.
Ward, A., Mandrusiak, A. & Levett-Jones, T. (online 2018). Cultural empathy in physiotherapy students: A pre-test post-test study utilising virtual simulation. Physiotherapy.