Improvement science and research methods seminar: Cultural proficiency from research to care

Prof Mark Gussy, Global Professor of Rural Health and Care at the University of Lincoln’s new International Institute for Rural Health, gave the February 2020 CaHRU and Institute Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar, titled ‘Cultural proficiency from research to care’. Prof Gussy, an expert in rural and oral health, joined the University of Lincoln in 2019 from La Trobe University’s rural health school.

The seminar focussed on culturally safe and responsive health care, which is fundamental to achieving equity in access to care systems and health outcomes. Prof Gussy introduced the notion of the cultural competence continuum, ranging from cultural destructiveness to cultural proficiency, and emphasised the importance of taking culture into account when developing public health (or other) research from defining the problem, to collecting and analysing data, developing health interventions and scaling these up. He also described the intersection of culture with social, economic and political contexts and how he and colleagues had developed CCORE, the cultural competence organisational review.

The talk went on to describe Teeth Tales, a research study that involved community engagement to achieve optimal oral health for people from migrant and refuge backgrounds that highlighted the ongoing challenges and also presented approaches to achieving more culturally competent health and social care. The seminar was well attended by academics, doctoral students and health service colleagues.

The next seminar will be given by Prof Frank Tanser, director of the International Institute for Rural Health, at 11:00-12:00 in DCB2102 (David Chiddick building) on ‘The use of spatial epidemiological methods to enhance understanding of epidemics’, featuring his work on HIV-AIDs in Africa.

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By Prof Niro Siriwardena

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