Cultural Competence of Mental Health Nurses in Israel

Jenny Segalovich, Sagit Dahan, Galit Levi, Ronen Segev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Israel’s diverse culture presents challenges to the nation’s health care system; lack of culturally appropriate care adversely affects overall quality of care. Therefore, cultural competence needs strengthening, especially among mental health nurses, for whom communication is the essence of treatment. The current study aimed to examine and evaluate the degree of cultural competence of mental health nurses in Israel. We sought to determine whether demographic variables, such as age, sex, and other characteristics, have effects on cultural competence. This study used a structured self-report questionnaire to survey 107 Israeli mental health nurses about their perceptions of their own cultural competence. Most participants attributed great importance to sociocultural aspects of patient care (mean score = 4, SD = 0.628) and were knowledgeable, but a majority (mean score = 3, SD = 0.83) reported difficulties implementing their knowledge during treatment. Cultural knowledge and awareness correlated with personal characteristics, such as sex and country of origin. There were gaps between cultural knowledge and the ability to apply existing knowledge in practice. A need exists not only for ongoing training in and maintenance of cultural knowledge, but also for tools to implement culturally appropriate care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


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