Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cultural Formulation Interview Can Help You Identify Unique Needs of Patients

Culturally sensitive care has the potential to improve trust and communication between clinicians and patients and, in turn, promote service use. In an article published Tuesday in Psychiatric Services in Advance, Esperanza Diaz, M.D., and colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry from Yale University School of Medicine describe how the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) can be used to tailor more culturally responsive mental health services.

Diaz and colleagues describe several themes that emerged when 30 Spanish-speaking adults aged 18 to 70 from several Latin American countries who were receiving outpatient services at the Hispanic Clinic of the Connecticut Mental Health Center were interviewed using the 16-question CFI, which aims to elicit information about perceived cultural influences of care.

Those interviewed reported disruptions of key relationships, loss of trust, and psychosocial needs as key drivers for seeking care

“Traditionally, mental health services for minority groups have not been organized to increase trust, address stigma, mend relationships with church and family, and address psychosocial needs. The data elicited through the CFI support framing the core treatment functions to include these issues and enhance the cultural responsiveness of care,” the authors wrote. “These findings suggest that trust should be considered as a key facilitator of treatment engagement. Moreover, clinicians should explore patients’ social ties, perceived as broken, to address their restoration during the treatment. Restored trust and restored social ties then become treatment outcomes.”

They concluded, “When used routinely, the CFI can help clinicians identify unique needs and preferences by providing a better understanding of an individual within the context of his or her culture. The CFI can help identify what works for a specific group and uncover new evidence of cultural responsiveness,” the researchers wrote.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Implementing Cultural Competence Means Inclusion Plus Measurement.”