Cultural adaptations of behavioral health interventions: a progress report

Manuel Barrera, Felipe Castro, Lisa A. Strycker, Deborah J. Toobert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

187 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To reduce health disparities, behavioral health interventions must reach subcultural groups and demonstrate effectiveness in improving their health behaviors and outcomes. One approach to developing such health interventions is to culturally adapt original evidence-based interventions. The goals of the article are to (a) describe consensus on the stages involved in developing cultural adaptations, (b) identify common elements in cultural adaptations, (c) examine evidence on the effectiveness of culturally enhanced interventions for various health conditions, and (d) pose questions for future research.

METHOD: Influential literature from the past decade was examined to identify points of consensus.

RESULTS: There is agreement that cultural adaptation can be organized into 5 stages: information gathering, preliminary design, preliminary testing, refinement, and final trial. With few exceptions, reviews of several health conditions (e.g., AIDS, asthma, diabetes) concluded that culturally enhanced interventions are more effective in improving health outcomes than usual care or other control conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Progress has been made in establishing methods for conducting cultural adaptations and providing evidence of their effectiveness. Future research should include evaluations of cultural adaptations developed in stages, tests to determine the effectiveness of cultural adaptations relative to the original versions, and studies that advance our understanding of cultural constructs' contributions to intervention engagement and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume81
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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