Study on Cultural Competency of Japanese Nurses




Kawashima, Asako

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There is an increase in the number of immigrants and foreign residents in Japan. This social demographic change requires Japanese nurses to deliver culturally appropriate and sensitive care. It is thus necessary to expand the research addressing Japanese nurses' cultural competency. However, there are few studies addressing the issues regarding Japanese nurses' cultural competency and associated variables. Furthermore, the literature suggests that the nurses' habits of mind and attitudes regarding critical thinking dispositions (CTDs) may possibly be connected with some of the key components of cultural competence, but there are no studies examining the relationships among these variables. In addressing this gap, the purposes of this study were: 1) to examine the level of cultural competency reported by Japanese nurses; 2) to examine the level of CTDs reported by Japanese nurses; 3) to examine the relationship between nurses' cultural competency and their CTDs; and 4) to examine the relationship between nurses' cultural competency and selected demographic and personal factors. Cultural competency levels were measured by using the Japanese version of Campinha-Bacote's Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competency among Healthcare Professionals-Revised (IAPCC-R). The Japanese version of the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) was employed to measure nurses' levels of CTDs. The study included a sample of 1,035 Japanese nurses. The findings indicated that nurses mostly perceived that they were only at a "culturally aware" level according to the IAPCC-R. Nurses' cultural competency levels were lower than those reported by western studies. Clinical experience in caring for culturally diverse clients, experience in taking courses and workshops related to cultural nursing care, other learning experiences about the concept of cultural diversity, and ability to speak a foreign language were significant factors influencing cultural competency levels. The findings further indicated that subscales of CCTDI including inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, self-confidence, systematicity, and maturity were predictors of nurses' cultural competency. Responses by nurses to a series of more qualitative questions provided additional insights into their experiences with, and perceptions of, caring for culturally diverse clients. Those responses also provided information regarding impressions of the study, feelings towards the issue of cultural competency, and suggestions relating to the modification of the IAPCC-R. Overall, the study suggests the need for the development of better cultural competency education and practice.



Cultural competency, Japan, Japanese Nurses, IAPCC-R