Equity in Healthcare Access: Using Cultural Competency Training to Bridge the Gap between Providers and Latino Patients in Durham, NC

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Alongside Asians, Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States with a projected population of 99.8 million by 2050 and 111.22 million by 2060. With this significant uptick comes an inevitable diversification of the social, linguistic and cultural landscapes of the country. One’s cultural background influences beliefs about causes of illness, expectations for care, preferred treatment methods, and much more. However, U.S. healthcare providers and the overall systems within which they work are not always equipped with the proper knowledge, tools, and resources to equitably treat all Latino patients seeking care. As a result, the Latino population faces significant inequities in acceptability and appropriateness access which asks, ‘”what happens to a Latino patient upon obtaining physical access to a health system?” “How do their sociocultural beliefs influence their interactions” and furthermore, “what is the quality of the relationship between the patient and the provider?” With this in mind, the aim for the study component was to assess the impact of a cultural competency educational intervention at a Duke Health Clinic via the implementation of an original survey instrument that gauges need satisfaction concordance amongst Latino patients and their providers. The results indicated that both patients and providers reported highest overall satisfaction with the demonstration of cultural comfort, however providers indicated that they felt the weakest about their demonstration of cultural humility and patients felt the weakest about the maximization of cultural opportunities during the clinical encounter. While there is still much room for improvement, significant progress has been made, especially over the past twenty years, in the incorporation of diversity frameworks within healthcare institutions. The next step is to standardize and equitably disseminate them throughout the country so that all providers are rightfully equipped and all patients are rightfully served.





Green, Azana (2022). Equity in Healthcare Access: Using Cultural Competency Training to Bridge the Gap between Providers and Latino Patients in Durham, NC. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24823.

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