Systematic review on embracing cultural diversity for developing and sustaining a healthy work environment in healthcare.

Peer Reviewed: 
TitleSystematic review on embracing cultural diversity for developing and sustaining a healthy work environment in healthcare.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPearson, A., Srivastava R., Craig D., Tucker D., Grinspun D., Bajnok I., Griffin P., Long L., Porritt K., Han T., & Gi A. A.
JournalInternational journal of evidence-based healthcare
Date Published2007 Mar

Objectives  The objective of this review was to evaluate evidence on the structures and processes that support development of effective culturally competent practices and a healthy work environment. Culturally competent practices are a congruent set of workforce behaviours, management practices and institutional policies within a practice setting resulting in an organisational environment that is inclusive of cultural and other forms of diversity. Inclusion criteria  This review included quantitative and qualitative evidence, with a particular emphasis on identifying systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials. For quantitative evidence, other controlled, and descriptive designs were also included. For qualitative evidence, all methodologies were considered. Participants were staff, patients, and systems or policies that were involved or affected by concepts of cultural competence in the nursing workforce in a healthcare environment. Types of interventions included any strategy that had a cultural competence component, which influenced the work environment, and/or patient and nursing staff in the environment. The types of outcomes of interest to this review included nursing staff outcomes, patient outcomes, organisational outcomes and systems level outcomes. Search strategy  The search sought both published and unpublished literature written in the English language. A comprehensive three-step search strategy was used, first to identify appropriate key words, second to combine all optimal key words into a comprehensive search strategy for each database and finally to review the reference lists of all included reviews and research reports. The databases searched were CINAHL, Medline, Current Contents, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Embase, Sociological Abstracts, Econ lit, ABI/Inform, ERIC and PubMed. The search for unpublished literature used Dissertation Abstracts International. Methodological quality  Methodological quality was independently established by two reviewers, using standardised techniques from the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) package. Discussion with a third reviewer was initiated where a low level of agreement was identified for a particular paper. Following inclusion, data extraction was conducted using standardised data extraction tools from the JBI SUMARI suite for quantitative and qualitative research. Data synthesis was performed using the JBI Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument and JBI Narrative, Opinion and Text Assessment and Review Instrument software to aggregate findings by identifying commonalities across texts. Quantitative data were presented in narrative summary, as statistical pooling was not appropriate with the included studies. Results  Of the 659 identified papers, 45 were selected for full paper retrieval, and 19 were considered to meet the inclusion criteria for this review. The results identified a number of processes that would contribute to the development of a culturally competent workforce. Appropriate and competent linguistic services, and intercultural staff training and education, were identified as key findings in this review. Conclusions  The review recommends that health provider agencies establish links with organisations that can address needs of culturally diverse groups of patients, include cultural competence in decision support systems and staff education as well as embed them in patient brochures and educational materials. The review also concluded that staff in-service programs consider the skills needed to foster a culturally competent workforce, and recruitment strategies that also explicitly address this need.

Alternate JournalInt J Evid Based Healthc