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Devan C. Richardson 1 Article
Cultural immersion in the education of healthcare professionals: a systematic review  
Marty J. Brock, Levi B. Fowler, Johnathan G. Freeman, Devan C. Richardson, Lisa J. Barnes
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2019;16:4.   Published online January 31, 2019
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  • 13 Web of Science
  • 11 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
With the ever-changing cultural makeup of society, the ability to deliver culturally appropriate healthcare is essential. An educational method aimed at increasing cultural knowledge and sensitivity in the education of healthcare professionals is cultural immersion, which creates opportunities for transformational learning through direct interactions with culturally diverse populations. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the qualitative effects of cultural immersion experiences on graduate-level healthcare professional students.
A search of the CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) and ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) databases was performed, utilizing search terms including cultural immersion, cultural sensitivity, educational outcomes, and healthcare professionals. The search was limited to publications within the last 10 years. The articles were screened according to title, abstract, and full-text following the application of inclusion/exclusion criteria. Themes identified within each article were collected and categorized, using a qualitative methodology, into 5 overarching domains to assess the educational experiences. Studies were scored for quality using the qualitative portion of the McGill Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool–2011.
Nine studies incorporating a total of 94 participants with experiences in 14 culturally diverse environments revealing 47 individually identified themes were included in the review. The results indicated that all cultural immersion experiences stimulated increased cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Cultural immersion experiences produced a positive, multi-domain effect on cultural learning in students of the health professions. The results of this review provide support for implementing cultural immersion experiences into the education of healthcare professionals with the goal of increasing cultural sensitivity.


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JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions