Cultural Distress: An Emerging Paradigm

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Abstract

Although cultural competence in practice is a common goal within the health care professions, little is known about the consequences of a lack of such competence in health and healing. We propose a novel theoretical framework of cultural distress to describe patient experiences of and reactions to care that does not incorporate attention to cultural needs. Use of the cultural distress model to guide research offers an innovative framework by which researchers may identify potential interventions such that patients never reach a level of cultural distress.

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