Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory concurrent mixed methods study was to describe experiences that shape the factors of cultural intelligence (CQ) as perceived by students of professional physical therapist education programs. In addition, it was the purpose of this study to determine whether any particular factor of cultural intelligence influenced one’s overall cultural competence according to the cultural competence continuum by Cross et al. (1989).
Methodology: Students in a professional physical therapist education program completed a questionnaire, which included Likert scale questions, open ended questions, and a 37-item self-assessment based on the expanded cultural intelligence scale by Van Dyne et al. (2012). Responses were analyzed to identify experiences that improved factors of cultural intelligence. Multiple regression analyses were performed to determine the impact of each factor of cultural intelligence on the level of cultural competence on the cultural competence continuum.
Findings: Immersion in cultural events and receiving positive feedback from diverse patients improved motivational cultural intelligence. Discussions between students in controlled settings improved cognitive cultural intelligence. Metacognitive cultural intelligence was improved when students were faced with difficulties interacting with culturally diverse patients resulting from cultural distance. Behavioral cultural intelligence improved when patients learned or practiced non-verbal cues as well as language(s) other than English. Multiple regression analyses found that no single factor of cultural intelligence is significantly related to the level of cultural competence on the cultural competence continuum.
Conclusion: Cultural competence could be improved through exposure to different cultural settings and diverse people; engaging in discussion and receiving feedback on behaviors and communication styles; acquiring more than one language; as well as putting forth practice towards becoming culturally competent and allowing for skills to be developed over time.
Recommendations: Research must be conducted on how professional physical therapist education programs develop cultural competence among faculty members. Moreover, research is needed in other healthcare programs using the factors of cultural intelligence as a conceptual framework. Furthermore, a qualitative ethnographic study should be performed on students of color in professional physical therapist education programs. Lastly, a mixed methods study should be conducted on how professional physical therapist students overcome language barriers.
Domingo, Dustin E., "How Professional Physical Therapist Education Programs Develop Cultural Competence Within Their Students: An Exploratory Concurrent Mixed Methods Study" (2019). Dissertations. 247.