Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 305–315 | Cite as

Cultural Considerations for Psychologists in Primary Care

  • Adeya Richmond
  • Jessica Jackson


Many health concerns in the United States (e.g., diabetes) are routinely managed in primary care settings. Regardless of the medical condition, patients’ health is directly influenced by factors such as healthcare providers and cultural background. Training related to how behaviors influence health, coupled with training on how cultural diversity intersects with mental health, allows psychologists to have the relevant expertise to assist in the development of primary care behavioral health interventions. However, many psychologists in primary care struggle with how to integrate a culture-centered paradigm into their roles as behavioral health providers. This paper provides an introduction on how three culture-centered concepts (providers’ cultural sensitivity, patient–provider cultural congruency, and patients’ health literacy) can be applied in primary care using the Five A’s Organizational Construct and a model of cultural competence. In addition, the paper includes a section on integration of cultural considerations into consultation and training and concludes with a discussion of how the three culture-centered concepts have implications for health equity.


Cultural sensitivity Cultural congruency Health literacy Behavioral health Health disparities 



Jessica Jackson acknowledges the New Mexico State University RISE program (NIH NIGMS Grant R25GM061222) which supported her contribution to this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors Adeya Richmond and Jessica Jackson declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Social ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Counseling & Educational PsychologyNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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