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  1. Scaz, Linda C. Leppert PhD


The purpose of this study was to examine the features that comprise transcultural education programs provided by home health agencies for registered nurse staff within selected Pennsylvania agencies. This descriptive research study encompassed a survey that was mailed to a representative sample of home health agency administrators with a 54% response rate. The survey solicited answers to questions regarding agency demographics, patient and staff composition, and current transcultural education programs. The study serves to expand basic research in transcultural education programs within home health care.


Changes in demographics, the economy, and the healthcare delivery system within the United States have influenced the educational needs of home health nurses within the last decade. Influenced by the requirements of consumers, home health nurses have had to care for patients who are more acutely ill, more elderly, and more culturally diverse with different approaches to health care (Feldman, 1993).


Because of the rapid increase in culturally different populations, nurses frequently do not receive the preparation needed to face the challenges of a multiethnic society (Bernal, Pardue, & Kramer, 1990).


A literature review established the need for transcultural education in the home health setting based on two central issues. First, the nation's demographics based on the census of 1990 have seen growth in the African American, Asian American, Hispanic, and Arab American populations over the last decade. Currently, these ethnic groups comprise one-fourth of the country's populous (Friedman, 1991). Within the state of Pennsylvania, the demographic changes that have occurred over the last decade include growth in the Hispanic American population by 20%, African-American population by 35%, American Indian by 10%, and Asian Pacific by 25%. Second, the trend of health care moving away from the hospital setting and into the patient's home has created a challenge for the home health industry to prepare staff to care for more culturally diverse patients (White-Means & Thornton, 1990).