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Development of a Cultural Awareness Scale for Occupational Therapy Students in Latin America: A Qualitative Delphi study

Journal article
Authors Daniela Castro
Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
Lena Mårtensson
Published in Occupational Therapy International
Volume 23
Issue 2
Pages 196–205
ISSN 0966-7903
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Pages 196–205
Language en
Keywords cultural competency; Latin America; occupational therapy education
Subject categories Occupational Therapy


Cultural awareness is a key issue in health care worldwide. Valid and reliable assessments are needed to assess cultural awareness for occupational therapy students. The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to assess cultural awareness for Latin American occupational therapy students. A Delphi design was implemented considering four rounds with experts from four countries. A 30-item scale in Spanish was developed to assess three categories of items: personal, therapeutic strategies and persons’ cultures. The experts highlighted local features for professional practice as a key aspect of the scale. Local differences in practice were considered with the profession’s traditions and prevailing knowledge across the scale. A participatory strategy and an international group of experts enriched the cultural relevance. A subsequent study of statistical reliability is required (the scale is not presented in an extended version here). Further research should consider the application of the scale and strategies to improve cultural awareness across the curricula.

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