Identifying key elements of cultural competence to incorporate into a New Zealand undergraduate pharmacy curriculum


  • Trudi Aspden University of Auckland
  • Rachael Butler Contracted to The School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand for this work
  • Friederike Heinrich University of Auckland
  • Matire Harwood University of Auckland
  • Janie Sheridan The University of Auckland


Cultural competence, New Zealand, pharmacy, qualitative, TACCT-R


Background: Culturally competent practice is now mandatory for New Zealand (NZ) pharmacists.

Aims: This research sought the opinions of those with expertise in different facets of cultural competence, to inform the content and teaching strategies for this subject within a pharmacy undergraduate programme in NZ.

Methods: An exploratory, qualitative study design analysing the transcriptions of nineteen audio-recorded, semi- structured interviews was used. Prior to the interviews, participants received a copy of the Revised Tool for Assessing Cultural Competence Training (TACCT-R).

Results: Seven main themes were identified: teaching challenges; curriculum content; content positioning; teaching delivery; teaching staff; assessment of student learning; and positioning Māori (the indigenous peoples of NZ) health in cultural competence. Challenges included the topic broadness and sensitivity. With modifications, the TACCT-R was found to have a scope relevant to the NZ pharmacy environment.

Conclusions: The findings reveal similarities with previous research but also tensions including the place of Hauora Māori and cultural experiences. 

Author Biographies

Trudi Aspden, University of Auckland

Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Rachael Butler, Contracted to The School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand for this work

Independent Social Science Researcher

Friederike Heinrich, University of Auckland

The School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Matire Harwood, University of Auckland

Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Janie Sheridan, The University of Auckland

The School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


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How to Cite

Aspden, T., Butler, R., Heinrich, F., Harwood, M., & Sheridan, J. (2017). Identifying key elements of cultural competence to incorporate into a New Zealand undergraduate pharmacy curriculum. Pharmacy Education, 17. Retrieved from



Research Article