Cultural Humility Training for Medical Professionals Serving African American Women with Lupus

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Background: African American women with lupus experience poor health outcomes, including organ damage, depression, and higher mortality rates. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or lupus is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease described by a multitude of unpredictable symptoms in timing and severity (Martz et al., 2019). As culture informs many aspects of life, including how health and illness are perceived and understood, cultural humility training for medical professionals may improve these outcomes. African American women face further challenges in gaps in care between themselves, their providers, and the healthcare system. Thus, there is a need for cultural humility training aimed at understanding African American women with lupus. Community Engagement: To help health outcomes for lupus patients, Mrs. Kimberly Howse of the Lupus Howse Foundation and Dr. Long Pham of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Rheumatology, have offered their knowledge and time to contribute to the process of developing the cultural humility training. Both community members were interviewed and shared valuable information to assist in creating the innovation, a cultural humility training specifically for medical professionals who treat African American lupus patients. Conceptual Model: Cultural humility training is driven by a clear conceptual framework and is informed by three theories: Historical particularism, learning theory, and the socialization model. All three approaches support the need for an understanding and openness among health care providers to improve health outcomes for African American women in the lupus community. Social Innovation: Cultural humility training explores and deconstructs personal biases toward different ethnic or cultural groups that will allow medical students, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to expand their knowledge of various cultures, influencing them to be more sensitive when serving their patients. Evaluation and Implications: Students studying to be health care professionals were evaluated by completing a pre-and post-measure during the soft roll-out presentation of the cultural humility training. This assessment was utilized to inform and create the modules and explore areas where students may lack knowledge of lupus, cultural humility, and the tools to address healthcare disparities. Implications for this include improved health outcomes, early diagnosis, decreased mortality rates, lessened organ damage, and enhanced patient and provider relationships. Conclusion: The cultural humility training aims to improve health outcomes, decrease health disparities, and bridge the gap between healthcare providers and African American women with lupus.
A capstone project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Social Work
Social Work, African American Studies