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A new cultural competency training programme which could help clinicians better connect with diverse population living with an auto-immune rheumatologic conditions.

A leading healthcare team has endorsed a new cultural competency training programme which could help clinicians better connect with diverse population living with an auto-immune rheumatologic conditions.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham identified communication gaps between healthcare providers and patients from different cultural backgrounds – creating the programme to address these issues which are preventing patients receiving quality care.

Led by Dr. Kanta Kumar from the University 's Institute of Clinical Sciences, the research team developed the 90-minute training programme, which will now be promoted by the British Society for Rheumatology.

Our results showed an overall improvement in implementing cultural concepts during the consultation with a significant boost in ratings from minority ethnic population patients. Further, a longer-term study is needed to assess the training's lasting impact.

Dr. Kanta Kumar - Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham

The programme was developed by using a ‘before and after’ design, with the research team testing the training materials by offering them to 15 clinicians across rheumatology centres in England and collected data relating to 364 patients. The research team published its findings recently.

Dr. Kumar commented: “Our results showed an overall improvement in implementing cultural concepts during the consultation with a significant boost in ratings from minority ethnic population patients. Further, a longer-term study is needed to assess the training's lasting impact.

“The programme has demonstrated potential in enhancing cultural competency, patient enablement, and fostering improved shared decision-making with minority ethnic patients living with auto-immune rheumatic diseases.”

The intervention programme will be offered to new and early-career rheumatology staff. It is now freely available to members of the British Society for Rheumatology, the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology, and the American College of Rheumatology.

Dr. Kumar added “We must emphasise the urgency of reducing healthcare disparities. The programme has the potential to be adopted by professionals in various policy makers and specialties, but additional research is required to extend support to diverse groups like African-Caribbean, Somali, and Chinese populations.”