Abstract

As the population of the United States is diversifying, the prevalence of cross-cultural scenarios in healthcare are increasing. These cross-cultural healthcare interactions are contributing to health disparities among underrepresented populations. Thus, as physical therapy educators strive to prepare physical therapy students to provide ethical, patient-centered care for the health of society, it is critical to mitigate health disparities among underrepresented populations. Cultural competence education has been identified as a strategy to provide patient-centered care and mitigate health disparities among underrepresented populations. Marja and Suvi [1] affirmed cultural competence education as a strategy to uphold healthcare providers’ ethical duty to provide patient-centered care. Furthermore, Deliz et al. [2] supported cultural competence education as a strategy to mitigate health disparities among underrepresented populations. Within the numerous cultural competence frameworks in the literature, the awareness construct remains central in many of them. Furthermore, awareness is highlighted as a key strategy to mitigate health disparities. Therefore, the problem that was addressed by this study was the identified need to promote awareness in physical therapy programs as a strategy to mitigate health disparities among underrepresented populations. Using the process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare services as a framework, the purpose of this quantitative pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental study was to measure Doctor of Physical Therapy students’ social awareness before and after completing an awareness-based educational module. Each research question surrounded one of the eight forms of social awareness, as outlined in the Social Awareness Inventory (SAI) developed by Sheldon [3]. Some of the forms of social awareness are associated with desirable traits, such as empathy, and others with less-desirable traits, such as narcissism. Thus, educators should not hope for a positive significant change in all forms of social awareness. This is the first study to use the SAI to measure DPT students’ social awareness after participating in an awareness-based educational module primarily focused on self-awareness. This study’s results indicate no significant changes in DPT students’ eight forms of social awareness after participating in an awareness-based educational module. Although there were no significant changes in the eight forms of social awareness, there were significant changes in some between and within-group comparisons for six forms of social awareness, contributing to the literature with supportive and new findings. Finding some statistically significant differences may lead the investigator to further examine these between and within-group differences in future studies. Additionally, the results of this study provided the investigator insight regarding the implementation of the framework, having implications for future practice.

Authors: Laura Simaitis, Lori Kupczynski

Published in: World Congress on Education (WCE-2023)

  • Date of Conference: 26-28 June, 2023
  • DOI: 10.2053/WCE.2023.0003
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-59-4
  • Conference Location: Residence and Conference Centre, Toronto, Canada

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