Date of Graduation

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Laura Chyu


African Americans are continuously disadvantaged when it comes to interacting with mental health services which has been evident in the utilization of services, treatment engagement, and quality of services compared to their White counterparts (Alang, 2019). Many researchers and providers have called for culturally competent care and tailored treatment for African Americans to address barriers to access and quality of health care (Alang, 2019). In this paper, a systematic review will be conducted to assess several models that have been integrated in the U.S. healthcare settings and services. In addition, we will define the components of culturally competent care and reframe the traditional model to advance to a more “sensitive” model to more effectively address systems of imbalance and oppressions within the U.S. healthcare space. Few studies examine the implications on African American perception, service engagement, and treatment outcomes and begin to show how culturally tailored health practices can reduce bias and encourage provider-patient relations (Henderson et al., 2018). Based on the empirical evidence, implementing culturally “sensitive” care in all behavioral health services to decrease mental health disparities and improve health outcomes for African Americans using a socio-ecological systems model is called for. The goal is to begin to evaluate their impact on mental health disparities among African Americans. In addition, quantitative assessments of particular health outcomes are also warranted for future work to increase substantial evaluations of programs/interventions.