Impact of a discrete First Peoples health course on students’ experience and development of cultural capabilities

Roianne West, Kyly Mills, Dale Rowland, Debra Creedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As Australian universities move towards the mandatory inclusion of First Peoples content into undergraduate health professional programs, it is imperative to evaluate course impact and quality of teaching. A discrete First Peoples Health course underpinned by The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework was evaluated using the Cultural Capability Measurement Tool (CCMT). Tool items reflect the five core cultural capabilities outlined in The Framework (Respect, Communication, Safety and Quality, Reflection, and Advocacy). All enrolled students (n = 297) were invited to complete an online survey before and after the course. Students’ experience of course quality was assessed using a university-generated online survey. Completed surveys could be matched for 87 students (29.3% response rate). Mean increase in CCMT scores from baseline to post-course was 10.85 (95% CI 8.84, 12.86). The eta squared statistic (η2= 0.57) indicated a large effect. Students’ satisfaction with course quality was high (M = 4.1 SD = 0.96). Free text comments indicated that students valued small group teaching and reflective processes. Improved CCMT scores suggest development in students’ cultural capability. Further research needs to examine the extent to which students can sustain development of their cultural capabilities in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1104
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


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