Background. Cultural Respect Encompassing Simulation Training (CREST) is a learning program that uses simulation to provide health professional students and practitioners with strategies to communicate sensitively with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients. It consists of training modules with a cultural competency evaluation framework and CALD simulated patients to interact with trainees in immersive simulation scenarios. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of expanding the delivery of CREST to rural Australia using live video streaming; and to investigate the fidelity of cultural sensitivity – defined within the process of cultural competency which includes awareness, knowledge, skills, encounters and desire – of the streamed simulations.
Design and Methods. In this mixed-methods evaluative study, health professional trainees were recruited at three rural academic campuses and one rural hospital to pilot CREST sessions via live video streaming and simulation from the city campus in 2014. Cultural competency, teaching and learning evaluations were conducted.
Results. Forty-five participants rated 26 reliable items before and after each session and reported statistically significant improvement in 4 of 5 cultural competency domains, particularly in cultural skills (P<0.05). Qualitative data indicated an overall acknowledgement amongst participants of the importance of communication training and the quality of the simulation training provided remotely by CREST.
Conclusions. Cultural sensitivity education using live video-streaming and simulation can contribute to health professionals’ learning and is effective in improving cultural competency. CREST has the potential to be embedded within health professional curricula across Australian universities to address issues of health inequalities arising from a lack of cultural sensitivity training.
Culturally and linguistically diversity; communication skills; simulation; migrant health; e-learning