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Cultural Competence in Health Care: An Emerging Theory

Soulé, Isabelle PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000016
Original Articles

This study examined the current state of cultural competence in health care using a qualitative descriptive design. Interviews were conducted with 20 multidisciplinary experts in culture and cultural competence from the United States and abroad. Findings identified 3 themes; awareness, engagement, and application that crossed 4 domains of cultural competence; intrapersonal, interpersonal, system/organization, and global.

School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Correspondence: Isabelle Soulé, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, 3455 S.W. US Veterans Hospital Rd, Portland, OR 97239 (

The author is indebted to her dissertation committee members Juliana Cartwright, PhD, RN (Chair), Dena Hassouneh, PhD, RN, ANP, PMHNP, FAAN, and Kathie Lasater EdD, RN, ANEF, who created a safe environment to question the status quo in health care education and brought clarity and specificity to her work in cultural competence.

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins