Original Publication
Open Access

Culturally Competent Health Care Practice With Older Adults

Published: July 24, 2006 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.254

Included in this publication:

  • African American CC.ppt
  • American Indian CC.ppt
  • Asian American CC.ppt
  • Asian Indian CC.ppt
  • Culturally Competent HCP with Older Adults.ppt
  • Latino CC.ppt
  • Refugees CC.ppt
  • Religious Groups CC.ppt

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This set of eight teaching modules fills a gap in health care education by providing cultural and religious competency training to practitioners who care for older adults. Designed to be delivered in either a facilitated or self-directed tutorial, each 15- to 20-minute presentation includes lecture notes to supplement the PowerPoint slides. An introductory module highlights the growing numbers of minority older adults in the U.S. and emphasizes their need for culturally appropriate health care services. The remaining seven modules focus on a specific culture or group, including African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Asian Indians, Latinos, refugees, and religious groups. The content of each module is organized as follows: culturally appropriate terminology, traditional beliefs about health and illness (including origins of illnesses, health risks, culture-specific remedies, and use of health care services), and communication issues (verbal, nonverbal, and commonly used decision-making methods). Case-based questions at the conclusion of each module allow participants to apply the information. Supported by a Geriatric Educational Center grant, these modules have been reviewed by both academic peers and stakeholders in the community. They were originally used by fellows participating in a continuing medical education distance learning program. Anecdotal feedback from participants indicated cultural competence was widely needed in urban and rural settings, and skill-based education is the most effective approach for training health care professionals. It should be acknowledged that in the process of presenting the content, there is always a risk of stereotyping when providing general information about a specific population or group. Presenters should be familiar with regional variations—for example, the wide variety of American Indian traditions and beliefs—that may need to be acknowledged to make the content more applicable to a particular audience. The modules’ 15- to 20-minute format is concise and partialized, allowing presenters to select the information most relevant to their audience.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Gain cultural competence with older adults.
  2. Define cultural diversity terminology.
  3. Identify changing demographic trends in the minority elderly population.
  4. Describe the influence of culture on health services.

Author Information

  • Debra Allwardt: University of Nebraska College of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Allwardt D. Culturally competent health care practice with older adults. MedEdPORTAL. 2006;2:254. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.254