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Cultural competence is defined as a set of skills, attitudes and practices that enable the healthcare professionals to deliver high-quality interventions to patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Improving on the cultural competence skills of the workforce has been promoted as a way of reducing ethnic and racial inequalities in service outcomes. Currently, diverse models for training in cultural competence exist, mostly with no evidence of effect. We established an innovative narrative-based cultural consultation service in an inner-city area to work with community mental health services to improve on patients' outcomes and clinicians' cultural competence skills. We targeted 94 clinicians in four mental health service teams in the community. After initial training sessions, we used a cultural consultation model to facilitate 'in vivo' learning. During cultural consultation, we used an ethnographic interview method to assess patients in the presence of referring clinicians. Clinicians' self-reported measure of cultural competence using the Tool for Assessing Cultural Competence Training (n=28, at follow-up) and evaluation forms (n=16) filled at the end of each cultural consultation showed improvement in cultural competence skills. We conclude that cultural consultation model is an innovative way of training clinicians in cultural competence skills through a dynamic interactive process of learning within real clinical encounters.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

Publication Date





814 - 826