Date Presented 04/22/2023

Students expressed a lack of understanding with the concept of cultural humility and suggested ways to integrate it into the curriculum through video scenarios, patient testimonials, and interactive experiences.

Primary Author and Speaker: Emily A. Meiring

Additional Authors and Speakers: Amanda K. Giles

PURPOSE: Cultural humility is keeping an open mind to understand each person as an individual with unique perspectives of the world (Arif et al., 2017; Yam et al., 2020). Students lack educational resources to understand and implement cultural humility and cross-cultural communication into practice (Arruzza & Chau, 2021). This study aimed to understand student confidence levels with cultural humility and inform the development of teaching resources.

DESIGN: A mixed-methods approach was used to collect quantitative and qualitiative data from a convenience sample of 35 second-year OTD students.

METHOD: Using an anonymous and optional REDCap survey, data was collected using five 6-point Likert scale items, two ‘yes/no’ items, and two open-ended questions. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis using dual reviewers.

RESULTS: Students reported feeling comfortable with the concept of cultural humility (n = 29, 83%); however, nearly half of those responses fell under ‘somewhat agree’ (n = 14, 40%), indicating a level of uncertainty or lack of confidence. Nearly all individuals (n = 34, 97%) indicated they learn best from video-based cases and reported that cultural humility would best be taught through video-based cases. Themes included three recommendations: (1) educational resources surrounding culture, cultural humility, and identity, (2) videos of patient scenarios and testimonials, and (3) interactive experiences in the classroom and in the community.

CONCLUSION: Although students reported ‘somewhat’ of an understanding of cultural humility, the qualitative responses indicated a need for more resources within the curriculum.

IMPACT STATEMENT: Cultural humility is the hallmark of patient-centered care within OT and expanding student knowledge on the topic is instrumental in building confident future clinicians who always provide compassionate, holistic, and unbiased care.


Arif, S., Cryder, B., Mazan, J., Quiñones-Boex, A., & Cyganska, A. (2017). Using patient case video vignettes to improve students’ understanding of cross-cultural communication. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 81(3), 56. 10.5688/ajpe81356

Arruzza, E., & Chau, M. (2021). The effectiveness of cultural competence education in enhancing knowledge acquisition, performance, attitudes, and student satisfaction among undergraduate health science students: a scoping review. Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions, 18(0), 18, 3. 10.3352/jeehp.2021.18.3

Yam, N., Murphy, A., & Thew, M. (2020). Occupational Therapy for South Asian Older Adults in the United Kingdom: Cross-Cultural Issues. SAGE Publications. 10.1177/0308022620933207