Pre Course Reading for CALD 9

eCALD Supplementary Resources

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):

  1. Cultural identity of the individual.
  2. Cultural explanations of the individual’s illness.
  3. Cultural factors related to the psychosocial environment and levels of functioning.
  4. Cultural elements of the relationship.
  5. 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.