Culturally Sensitive Care: Definitions, Perceptions, and Practices of Health Care Professionals

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Introduction: Research highlights that patients from ethnic minority groups often receive lower quality of care. This study contributes to the knowledge and understanding of culturally sensitive care and explores health care professionals’ definitions and perceptions of this concept and how they deliver this in practice. Method: This qualitative study conducted a total of six focus groups (n = 34) and four in-depth interviews with six categories of health care professionals in Belgium. Thematic content analysis was used. Results: The results indicate that the concept of culturally sensitive care is perceived quite narrowly. Professionals are likely to portray their own frame of reference and find it challenging to show empathy with patients with a different background. Othering (micro-racism by defining “the other”) is a powerful example. Discussion: The discussion reveals the significance of increasing cultural awareness and understanding, sensitizing about current narrow perceptions, and enhancing culturally sensitive care in the Belgian health care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)484-492
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020


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