Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social work with the terminally ill-Evaluation, Cross-cultural counseling-Evaluation, Cultural competence-Testing, Social work education, Social workers-Training of, Cultural competence, Hospice, Social work, Cross-cultural, End-of-life, Self-report, Social workers-Self-rating of


Although about 40% of American deaths occur in hospice care, and although social workers are members of nearly all hospice teams, there is scant research on the cross-cultural practices and competence of hospice social workers. Before this study, no self-report cultural competence scale was available to measure the perceived cultural competence skills of hospice social workers. To address this issue, a validated cross-cultural competence scale, the Multicultural Counseling Self-Efficacy Scale – Racial Diversity (Sheu, 2005) was modified to reflect the functions of hospice social workers. The revised scale (Begans, 2011) was completed by 33 hospice social workers in a New England state. Cronbach's alpha was used to examine the internal consistency of the revised scale; results indicate that the revised scale is highly reliable (37 items; α = .973), suggesting that items were tapping similar constructs. Subscale alphas were similarly robust. The revised scale is suitable for use in medical and hospice settings where end of life issues predominate. The surveyed hospice social workers rated their skills in working with cross-cultural and cross-racial hospice clients highly overall, a finding which had not been expected based on the literature review. The research and practice implications of the findings are discussed in detail. It is hoped the results will be of interest to hospice, palliative care and medical social workers, and will add to the conversation and research about culturally competent care at the end of life.




iv, 97 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 73-84)