Rationale for Cross-cultural Assessment
Cross-cultural assessment is a complex and challenging aspect of mental health. Most of the difficulties are generated by using predominantly Western-oriented concepts, tools and standards for CALD clients. As a guide to assessment and diagnosis the DSM V provides an outline for developing a Cultural Formulation.
The following information offers an assessment tool (CALD Assessment Tool) and additional information for working with DSM V guidelines to help practitioners avoid misdiagnosis, obtain clinically useful information and improve clinical rapport and therapeutic efficacy with their clients (Andary et al., 2003; Ton & Lim, 2006).
The five criteria for Cultural Formulation are as follows (APA, 2013a, p. 749-750):
- Cultural identity of the individual.
- Cultural explanations of the individual’s illness.
- Cultural factors related to the psychosocial environment and levels of functioning.
- Cultural elements of the relationship.
- Overall cultural assessment for diagnosis and care.
The CALD Assessment Tool provides questions that can be used to elicit information in three of the DSM stages of the cultural formulation – A, B and C. The questions are adapted from Dr Sanu Pal (2008), a transcultural psychiatrist, and Benson and Thistlethwaite (2009). A complete copy of these is provided in the Resource section.