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Cultural Competency: Research

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The following MeSH (Medical Subject Heading) terms may be useful for PubMed and MEDLINE searches:

  • Cultural Competency
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Prejudice
  • Clinical Competence
  • Professional Competence


The following CINAHL Subject Heading terms may be useful for CINAHL searches:

  • Cultural Competence
  • Culture
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Transcultural Care
  • Transcultural Nursing
  • Professional Practice

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Key Terms and Definitions


"Attitudes and behaviors, which are characteristic of a group or community." (HRSA, 2019)

Cultural Competence

"A set of similar behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations." (HRSA, 2019)

Culturally Adapted Health Care

See January 2020 article from County Health Rankings for background reading 

Structural Competency

"the trained ability to discern how a host of issues defined clinically as symptoms, attitudes, or diseases (e.g., depression, hypertension, obesity, smoking, medication “non-compliance,” trauma, psychosis) also represent the downstream implications of a number of upstream decisions about such matters as health care and food delivery systems, zoning laws, urban and rural infrastructures, medicalization, or even about the very definitions of illness and health" (Metzl & Hansen 2014)

See also: Spring 2014 article, With Understanding Comes Empowerment, from New Physician 

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