Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Missal, Bernita


Background: The rising diversification of the U.S. population consists of 40 percent immigrants or first generation Americans (Huscup, 2010). This ethnic composition of the population poses great challenges for healthcare institutions and healthcare providers. This trend directly influences and transforms healthcare delivery; it strongly affects and guides health and nursing practices. Purpose: The purpose of this critical review of the literature is to investigate how patients’ varied cultural beliefs, language barriers, and/or ethnic backgrounds can affect perceived/real health treatments or outcomes; thereby influencing the patients’ satisfaction with healthcare providers and facilities. Results: Following the systematic review of the literature, twenty-four qualitative and quantitative studies and reviews of literature, using various methods for data collection were selected. Campinha-Bacote’s Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of Healthcare Services (2011) was used as the framework for analyzing the literature. The findings of this systematic review included that diverse ethnic patients have beliefs and customs that are important to each individual culture, and can affect how diverse patients perceive healthcare treatments and patient experience. Conclusion: This critical review of literature identified that patients’ culture and ethnicity affect how diverse patients perceive healthcare treatments; and whether or not they will follow the treatment. Language also has an important role in patient outcome in particular if there is language discordance and patients do not understand what is expected of them; thereby, adding to healthcare disparities in diverse populations. Implications for Research and Practice: Language difficulties contribute to both patient and provider lack of knowledge about each other. This leads to patient nonadherence of recommended treatments; as well as inability of western providers to incorporate patients’ customs and practices; ultimately placing ethnic minority patients at a disadvantage in receiving safe and beneficial healthcare treatments. Therefore, there is a need for nursing education about diverse patients’ beliefs and practices. Nursing education programs should include courses that expose nursing students to knowledge regarding how cultures and language affect healthcare outcomes and affect patient experience.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons