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Multicultural Diversity and Competence in TR Chapter 5. HPR 453. Cultural Competence. The U.S. is no longer a melting pot of homogenized Americans (Hubert Humphrey, 1967) Cultural competence is a strategy to reduce disparities in access to and provision of quality health and human services

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Cultural competence
Cultural Competence

The U.S. is no longer a melting pot of homogenized Americans (Hubert Humphrey, 1967)

Cultural competence is a strategy to reduce disparities in access to and provision of quality health and human services

CTRSs must provide culturally competent services


Demographics continue to change rapidly

Terms - Cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural diversity and others

“continuous, developmental process of pursuing cultural awareness, knowledge, skills, encounters, sensitivity, and linkages among services and people”


  • Cultural competence in health care

    • The ability of systems to provide equitable care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors, including tailoring delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural, and linguistic needs

    • Multiculturalism includes racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, classism, heterosexism, and homophobia

    • Ignorance of cultural issues, lack of knowledge, language differences = Barriers


Diversity issues and efforts related to tr education
Diversity Issues and Efforts Related to TR Education

  • University Program Accreditation (COAPRT and CARTE)

  • Individual Professional Certification (NCTRC)

  • Professional Associations (ATRA)

    • Diversity: Case Studies in Healthcare

    • Guidelines for Competency Assessment and Curriculum Planning for Recreational Therapy Practice

    • Standards for the Practice of Therapeutic Rec


ATRA Board approved a Statement on Diversity (March 2006) – The Association promotes “diverse and inclusive participation by its leaders, members and affiliates”

ATRA Diversity Team

ATRA Linda Levine Madori Scholarship

NRPA nondiscrimination statement

NRPA Diversity Scholarship

ATRA Code of Ethics

Professional Journals


Issues in tr practice
Issues in TR Practice – The Association promotes “diverse and inclusive participation by its leaders, members and affiliates”

  • Lack of cultural diversity among CTRSs

  • National sample (2007) – N=979

    • 15% male

    • 10% ethnic minority

    • 60% between 23-39 y/o

    • Mainly young Caucasian females but we serve a large diverse population

  • Concerted efforts needed to recruit and increase the number of minority students into our TR curricula/profession


Why the need for cultural competence national center for cultural competence 2007
Why the need for cultural competence? – The Association promotes “diverse and inclusive participation by its leaders, members and affiliates”(National Center for Cultural Competence, 2007)

Respond to current and projected demographic changes in US

Eliminate longstanding disparities in healthcare provision

Improve quality of services & health outcomes

Meet legislative, regulatory, and accreditation mandates

Gain competitive edge in the market place

Decrease the likelihood of liability/malpractice claims


Essence of TR is to improve functional abilities, health, and overall quality of life

CTRSs must understand the beliefs that shape their clients’ approach to health and illness

Can face liability claims that their failure to understand and adhere to their clients’ beliefs, practices, and behaviors breaches professional standards of care


What can you do
What can you do? and overall quality of life

Work in multicultural settings

Examine your own biases

Learn about the community

Examine your language

Consider the interaction of families

Learn about individuals and individual differences


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