Case Synopsis

Nia Singh is an intercultural education specialist and leads the Intercultural Safety Training Program (ISTP) at the Southwestern Ontario Intercultural Education Centre (SOIEC). She has undertaken significant work with the ISTP developing and implementing training sessions and webinars to help clients make their workplace more culturally competent. Nia has recently observed that the ISTP could greatly benefit from including training materials to help health care practitioners provide improved health care to Indigenous patients. Indigenous people face numerous social, political, historical barriers while accessing healthcare services in Canada. Cultural differences can also lead healthcare practitioners to discriminate against their Indigenous patients and consequently, lead to worsening health outcomes (Harfield et al., 2018). Therefore, seeing the need for an Indigenous-specific program aimed at improving the intercultural competence and awareness of health care professionals, Nia contacted relevant stakeholders to help her research and develop a training module. With the background research and stakeholder input complete, Nia is finalizing the training module and delivery plan. She is now faced with the task of optimally implementing the training and assessing the challenges that may arise as the training is disseminated to its intended audience. During the implementation phase of the process, Nia collaborates with prospective clients to ensure the training module is used effectively and successfully fosters important dialogue about health equity and patientcentred care among health care professionals. At the end of the case, Nia decides to collaborate with the Middlesex-London Public Health Unit’s Indigenous Health Coordinator, Vanessa Anderson, to draft an implementation research proposal so she can assess the impact of the new training program and evaluate it as it is disseminated in a practical, real-world setting.

This case is intended to provide students practice with contextualizing an implementation research plan so they can assess an Indigenous-specific cultural safety training program through an Indigenous lens. In addition, it will help students consider the value of multiple stakeholder perspectives while implementing these types of programs.

Case Objectives

1. Identify and predict the challenges of implementing an evidence-based cultural safety program in a Public Health Organization.
2. Apply the concepts of implementation research within an Indigenous-specific context to formulate an effective and sustainable plan for implementing this type of safety program.

3. Explain the importance, in an Indigenous context [perspective], of valuable community partnerships and stakeholder involvement to ensure sustained implementation of an Indigenous-specific intervention.

4. Distinguish between intercultural competence and cultural safety and discuss some ways in which cultural safety can be incorporated into the training program.

Case Study Questions

1. In your learning team, design a research plan for the training module developed by SOIEC. Specifically, what will be your methodology, what study participants will you include and how will you evaluate the plan?
2. Who should be consulted when evaluating a Public Health intervention aimed at improving the intercultural competence of health care professionals?
3. How will implementation research help the SOIEC improve its capacity as an organization?
4. What are some best-practice approaches to keep in mind while implementing Indigenousspecific programs?


Intercultural competence, cultural safety, health equity, evaluation program, implementation research, Indigenous health, stakeholder, training program



Recommended Citation

Ghuman, E., Speechley, M., Mohan, N., Alcock, D. (2022). Implementation Research: A Strategy for Developing Indigenous-Specific Intercultural Competency Training Programs (Part B). in: Darnell, R. & Sibbald, S. L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2021. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.