The development and validation of a cultural competency model for health care providers working with military and Veteran families in Canada
Objectives. Canadian military and Veteran family life is characterized by frequent relocation, regular familial separation due to training or deployment, and living with the risk of injury or death of a military family member. Most Canadian health care providers lack knowledge and skills to address these issues. Therefore, the purpose of the thesis was to develop and validate a cultural competency model for health care providers working with military and Veteran families. Methods. The thesis consisted of three phases. Phase One was a scoping review of health care literature to identify commonalities in the content, structure, and development of cultural competency models. Phase Two used competency framework development methodology to create a military and Veteran family model and framework. Data collection included interviews with military and Veteran family members (n=17) and health care providers (n=9). In Phase Three, a validation study was conducted of the proposed model using focus groups and interviews with military subject matter experts (n=12) and health care providers (n=8). Results. Based on population-specific data, the Military and Veteran Family Cultural Competency Model and framework was created that includes 24 cultural competencies articulated across four cultural competency domains. Conclusion. The thesis has identified and validated cultural competencies for health care providers working with military and Veteran families within the Canadian health care landscape. This validated model may help inform health provider education and professional development programs to increase awareness, knowledge, and skills to enhance the health experiences and health outcomes of military and Veteran families.