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Towards a culturally competent health professional: a South African case study

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medical Education, May 2018
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2 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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103 Mendeley
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Towards a culturally competent health professional: a South African case study
Published in
BMC Medical Education, May 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12909-018-1187-1
Pubmed ID

Margaret Matthews, Jacqueline Van Wyk


South Africa (SA) has a growing multilingual and multicultural population of approximately 55 million people, and faces service delivery challenges due to a shortage in skilled health professionals. Many health care facilities still depict distinct racial and ethnic characteristics that date back to the apartheid era, and there are reports of racial intolerance or preferential treatment at some facilities. There is limited literature in South Africa on cultural competence or on how to train health professionals to provide culturally competent care. This paper describes a study conducted to gain a better understanding of final year medical students' perceptions regarding concepts related to cultural and linguistic competence in the SA healthcare setting. An exploratory, cross-sectional, analytical study used a questionnaire to collect data from final year students at the medical school. The demographic profile indicated considerable diversity in the respondents for languages spoken, ethnicity and religion. Responses indicated a level of cultural awareness and, according to the Cross Framework, a position of cultural pre-competence. This position was supported by the majority expressing high levels of agreement with the items deemed to indicate responsiveness: a desire for cultural competence to be promoted in the medical curriculum and for professional development to improve delivery of services and support to linguistically and culturally diverse groups. No significant association was found when analysing the latter item against demographic grouping variables. However, although not significant, a diminishing trend emerged in the rankings of monolingualism, bilingualism and multilingualism, suggesting that the ability to speak more than one language could possibly be a facilitating factor in acquiring cultural competence. In response, it is recommended that specific learning objectives be included in the medical curriculum. Understanding of concepts related to both individual and institutional cultural competence would improve insights into their relevance in responding to the challenges related to culture in SA healthcare. Further research in teaching cultural competence is recommended. In order to respond to local needs, this should include research at a community level to analyse patients' perspectives and satisfaction with the cultural competence of healthcare providers and organisations serving the SA public.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 103 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 103 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 12 12%
Student > Master 12 12%
Student > Bachelor 12 12%
Other 8 8%
Lecturer 8 8%
Other 28 27%
Unknown 23 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 21 20%
Nursing and Health Professions 21 20%
Social Sciences 7 7%
Psychology 7 7%
Arts and Humanities 5 5%
Other 15 15%
Unknown 27 26%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 18 June 2018.
All research outputs
of 13,099,076 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medical Education
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Outputs of similar age
of 270,733 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medical Education
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,099,076 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,897 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.0. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them