Pate Director of Research and neuropsychologist Dr. Carlos Marquez de la Plata gave a continuing education talk recently at the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana titled, “What is Culturally Competent Rehabilitation?”
The course objectives were to have participants become aware of disparities in rehabilitation outcomes that are NOT related to differences in the frequency of certain acquired brain injuries.
The talk is based on the well-studied concepts introduced by Sue and Sue (2003) indicating that therapy-professionals, like all humans, have certain biases that can impact the way we treat patients if we do not acknowledge them and make patients’ cultural preferences the guiding light of our therapeutic activities.
In the hour-long course, we describe ways a clinician can become more aware of various cultural preferences and values and how to adapt our therapy skills to match the patients’ values (particularly if they are different than yours).
Lastly, the talk describes several ways to modify therapies to take more of a a client-centered approach and improve the way we demonstrate (1) respect for patients’ autonomy, (2) a collaborative approach, and (3) our desire to empower our patients.