Healthy Diversity - Hamburg‘s Curriculum to enhance cross-cultural competences in patient care

Funded by: Robert Bosch Foundation & UKE Academy for Training and Career

Term: November 2017 – October 2018

Key words: cross-cultural competences, migrants, migration background, training, inter-professional, interdisciplinary

Point of departure: Caring for patients with migration background can be challenging in many different ways, not only for patients but also for attending professionals: Language barriers, divergent moral or cultural concepts i.e. of illness and healing lead to misdiagnoses, to negative feelings toward presumed “foreign” patients, to worsened treatment effects, and to an under- or overtreatment of these patients. Overall, people with migration background are underrepresented in both outpatient and inpatient health care – despite their equal or even higher morbidity rates.

At present, there are only few evaluated trainings for health care professionals geared toward enhancing their cross-cultural competences. Furthermore, existing cross-cultural trainings mainly target professionals of one specific professional group, even though both outpatient and inpatient health care is multidisciplinary work in any case.

Aims and target audience:
The project aims to facilitate the long-term improvement of health and medical services for patients with migration background.

Therefore, we are going to develop, pilot, evaluate and implement one interdisciplinary cross-cultural training for all professionals involved in patient care in order to (a) enhance the individual cross-cultural competences of health care professionals as well as to (b) strengthen an interdisciplinary team culture between different professions involved in patient care.

Initially, the project is addressed to all interested health care professionals working directly with patients, such as physicians, dieticians, occupational therapists, nurses, medical technical assistants.

If positively evaluated, the cross-cultural training will be adopted by other academies and institutions.

In order to achieve a high-quality, application-oriented, interdisciplinary training design, the development, teaching, and evaluation of the training is to be carried out in close collaboration with (a) designated experienced academics, (b) representatives of different health care professional groups and (c) an international expert advisory board. Thus, various stages of the project factor in not only professional expertise but also different perspectives of potential participants. Once the training has taken place, is qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated – again, by soliciting the help of representatives from various professions and experts – the training design will be finalised and published. This approach not only ensures that the training’s contents and methods are tailored to the daily work routine of the target audience but also guarantees an interdisciplinary and inter-professional alignment of the training.

Value and sustainability:
The interdisciplinary and inter-professional training itself will be included in the training programme of the UKE Academy for Training and Career as well as in the training programme of the Medical Chamber of Hamburg after a successful evaluation. The training design will be open to the public free of charge after completion of the project.

In the long term, health care services for patients with migration background will be improved not only by enhancing cross-cultural competences of health care professionals but also by establishing an inter-professional teamwork culture for all professions working in patient care. In the medium term, the quality of teaching and training in health care will be raised by including the training course in the above mentioned training programmes as well as by granting the public access to the training design.

Team members