University of Oulu

Erkkilä, P, Koskenranta, M, Kuivila, H, Oikarainen, A, Kamau, S, Kaarlela, V, et al. Ethical and cultural competence of social- and health care educators from educational institutions – Cross-sectional study. Scand J Caring Sci. 2023; 37: 642–653.

Ethical and cultural competence of social- and health care educators from educational institutions : cross-sectional study

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Author: Erkkilä, Päivi1; Koskenranta, Miro1; Kuivila, Heli1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Social services and Health Care, Jyvaskylä University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
3Faculty of Social Sciences, Nursing Science/Health Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
4Faculty of Social Sciences (SOC) FI- 33014, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
5Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-23


Background: The international mobility has increased cultural diversity in social- and health care. As such, ethical and cultural competence is an essential skill among educators. They are promoting the ethical and cultural competence and professional growth of students with diverse backgrounds and, therefore, must be ethically and culturally competent.

Aim: The aim of the study was to identify distinct ethical and cultural competence profiles of social- and health care educators and explore the associated factors.

Research Design: A descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used to collect quantitative observational data in 2020–2021. Competence profiles were identified by K-means clustering based on answers to an instrument focussing on educators’ ethical and cultural competence.

Participants and Research Context: Participants (N = 1179, n = 243) were social- and health care educators based at 10 universities of applied sciences and 10 vocational colleges in Finland.

Ethical Considerations: The research adhered to good scientific practice. A research permit was received from each educational institution that participated in the study. The privacy of the participants was protected throughout the study.

Results: The analysis identified three profiles of educators (A, B, C) based on self-assessed ethical and cultural competence. Profile A educators demonstrated high scores across all three competence areas. Profile B educators had high scores for ethical knowledge and intermediate scores for other competence areas. Profile C educators demonstrated intermediate scores across all three competence areas. An educator’s pedagogical education was found to significantly influence which profile they belonged to.

Conclusions: The educators generally evaluated their ethical and cultural competence highly. Educators understand the importance of professional ethics in their work, but they need additional support in developing ethics skills in their daily work. Among all educators, there is a need for developing international and culturally diverse collaboration.

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Series: Scandinavian journal of caring sciences
ISSN: 0283-9318
ISSN-E: 1471-6712
ISSN-L: 0283-9318
Volume: 37
Issue: 3
Pages: 642 - 653
DOI: 10.1111/scs.13145
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
516 Educational sciences
Funding: No funding.
Dataset Reference: All data generated during this study are included in this published article.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic College of Caring Science. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.