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Cultural Sensitiveness in Health Care Delivery of Jimma University Specialized and Teaching Hospital, South West Ethiopia, 2016

Background: Globally the increasing diversity in the population has led to concerns over disparities in health status between diverse patient populations. Language and cultural issues can have a significant impact on health disparities when not addressed by health care organizations. Even though disparity in health care increase very few studies have provided the opportunity for researchers to explore the issue of culturally and linguistically appropriate health care in a broad and organized fashion throughout the worldwide and none of them done across the country.

Objective: To explore cultural sensitiveness in health care delivery of Jimma university specialized and teaching hospital.

Methods: Institution based qualitative study was employed in JUSTH among 10 key informants (administrative and health workers) purposively selected from different service areas and 10 patients selected through purposive random sampling from different backgrounds. Data were collected using unstructured questionnaire through In-depth interview and analyzed by using ATLAS.ti7.1. Open Coding was carried out line-byline. Following the coding process, family coding, themes and theoretical constructs were developed from both the field notes and the interview transcripts.

Results: One of the most prominent challenges identified by this study is the image of cultural and linguistic sensitive diverse patients need care does not come to hospital plan image, which often results in a lack of financial and other resources for culture and language service. Developing supportive infrastructure, work force, data collecting and using, community engagement, organizational relationship, integrating cultural need into organizational planning, accommodating the specific need of patients and helping patients to manage their care are the major activities expected from the hospital as the study participants to deliver cultural sensitive/appropriate care for diverse patient populations.

Conclusion: Without cultural appropriate health care services it is difficult for the hospital to deliver patient centered non disparity quality health service. For health care organizations to deliver patient centered non-disparity health service there must be conceptual framework guide the health care organization to develop a cohesive message about meeting the needs of diverse patient populations and better communicate this vision to staff, clients and the public. Thus framework must develop based on the culture of the clients/community served at the health care organization and medical indication of the patient cases.


Mesfin Beharu, Israel Bekele, Zewdie Birhanu, Ibrahim Yimam

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