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Impact of diversity and professional training on cultural competency in paramedics

   Faculty of Medicine and Health Science

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  Dr K Deane  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


Cultural competency is the ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one's own. Paramedics work with a wide range of patients in often highly stressful situations. As a result, they need to have a very high level of cultural competency in order to deliver clinical care in an effective and respectful manner. Cultural competency may be acquired by the lived experience of having a protected characteristic (for example being disabled, or a woman) but also through life experiences, and professional training.  


To explore the impact of personal diversity, life experiences, and professional training on the level of cultural competency in paramedics. 

Objectives and Methods 

  1. Set up a steering group which meets regularly to inform the design, conduct, interpretation and dissemination of the research program. Ideally it will include representatives from patients, carers, paramedics, lecturers, and management. 
  2. Systematic review of cultural competency outcome measures. A comprehensive overview of the quality (i.e., measurement properties) of instruments. Their relevancy and utility for key diversity issues and populations will also be assessed. This will allow evidence-based recommendations for the selection of the most suitable instrument. 
  3. Survey paramedic students and staff in the UK to map their diversity demographics, life experiences, professional training, and cultural competency. Identify any correlations between issues surveyed and levels of cultural competency. 
  4. Conduct focus groups and interviews with student and trained paramedic to explore their acquisition of cultural competency skills and their opinions of the importance of these on their professional practice.  
  5. These findings will inform recommendations for training to develop cultural competency skills 


This project will inform the paramedic community on its level of diversity and cultural competency, and suggestions for how to improve cultural competency training. 

Funding Notes

This PhD project is a Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences competition for funded studentships. The studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise UK tuition fees, an annual stipend of £15,609 (2021/22 rate) and £1,000 per annum to support research training. International applicants (including EU) may apply but are required to fund the difference between UK and International tuition fees (details of tuition fees can be found on our website


Phung V-H, Siriwardena AN, Windle K et al. Ethnicity and prehospital emergency care provided by ambulance services. Better Health Briefing 37. A Race Equality Foundation Briefing Paper May 2015

Wilson, S., & Hill, L. (2019). What is the paramedic’s role in smoking cessation? Journal of Paramedic Practice, 11(3), 100–105.

Wilson, T., & Hill, L. (2021). The role of the paramedic in identifying modern slavery. International Paramedic Practice, 13(2), 1–11.

Guideline for Systematic Reviews of Outcome Measurement Instruments.

Deane K, Delbecque L, Gorbenko O, et al. Co-creation of patient engagement quality guidance for medicines development: an international multistakeholder initiative. 2019 BMJ Innovations. 13. DOI: 10.1136/bmjinnov-2018-000317
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