Introduction: The need to define and assess optimal strategies for influencing attitudes and facilitating skills development in providing culturally appropriate care is a critical challenge to academic medicine. To address this we created and tested the ETHNICS (Explanation, Treatment, Healers, Negotiate, Intervention, Collaboration, and Spirituality) mnemonic. Methods: This is a didactic session and series of handouts on the ETHNICS mnemonic pioneered by the authors. The active learning component includes a facilitated small-group session with two role-plays that allow learners to explore their own health beliefs and practice utilizing the ETHNICS mnemonic. Results: The clinical tool and small group facilitator's guide have been used by 158 first-year medical students. The session was highly rated by all first-year medical students for session planning and organization, meeting stated learning objectives, and facilitation. Discussion: The ETHNICS mnemonic provides a framework for cross-cultural interviewing that physicians and other healthcare professionals can use in providing culturally appropriate geriatric care. This resource may be used for teaching cross-cultural interviewing with residents, fellows, and interdisciplinary health care professionals.
By the end of this session, learners will be able to:
- Elicit and facilitate cross-cultural issues during healthcare encounters with older adult patients.
- State and describe four rationales for providing culturally appropriate geriatric care.
- Define the concept of cultural competence and describe three techniques that can reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
- State the seven domains of the ETHNICS framework and describe challenges implementing its use.
- Identify their own cultural values, assumptions, and beliefs and recognize how their impact of future patient care.
- Conduct a patient interview that elicits health beliefs and incorporates these beliefs into the treatment plan.
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Kobylarz, FA. Getting started - teaching cultural competency: the ETHNICS mnemonic in a clinical skills teaching course. Presented at: American Geriatric Society Annual Meeting; 2005; Orlando, Florida.
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