Cultural competence, evidence-based medicine, and evidence-based practices.Edit

Whitley R.

Psychiatr Serv. 2007 Dec;58(12):1588-90.

This open forum article discusses the relationship between cultural competence and evidence-based medicine by describing their overlap and discrepancy. While both are being stressed as important in medical practice, few studies exist that relate the two concepts. The author states evidence-based medicine is more reliant on quantitative research whereas cultural competence is more qualitative research. Also, evidence-based medicine is a top-bottom approach with those creating, testing, and interpreting results disseminate things to the rest of the people. However, cultural competence is more of a bottom-top approach with much social collaboration regarding patient care. Despite the differences, the author proposes that there are fundamental similarities. Both focus on patient-centered medicine and are aimed to reducing health disparities and providing effective and appropriate care. The author also proposes that much more research is necessary including the development of models of cultural competence that can be assessed for a more quantitative assessment. He also proposes that evidence-based practices could be developed in a bottom-up manner in collaboration with distinct ethnocultural groups.

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