Campinha-Bacote’s Cultural Theory in Nursing

Campinha-Bacote’s culture theory resonates most with my practice in nursing. The theory is represented by the mnemonic ASKED, which stands for cultural Awareness, Skills, Knowledge, Encounter, and Desire. Campinha-Bacote (2002) emphasized nurses being motivated to act with cultural competence. Awareness involves understanding and identifying one’s biases and cultural values, while skills refer to assessing culturally related psychosocial and physical needs (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). Knowledge concept requires nurses to learn the worldviews and values of other cultures while encounter involves interactions with culturally diverse individuals and groups. The cultural desire concept entails the development of interest to engage in culturally competent behavior.

Campinha-Bacote’s theory integrates with all the nursing paradigms, namely, person, health, environment, and nursing. Following the ASKED concepts emphasizes the patient to ensure that nurses understand and utilize the person’s cultural aspects during the treatment process (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). The nursing paradigm places the person or patient at the center of the healthcare environment. Since the cultural theory focuses on the patient’s culture, it integrates with the foundation of nursing paradigms. The environment and health of the patient are influenced by the concept of cultural competence of the nurse. Finally, the nurses’ goals, functions, and roles during treatment must align with the patient’s unique culture.

Cultural awareness and knowledge are the two parts of Campinha-Bacote’s theory that I identify with. I deliberately assess my cultural competence using various online tools to understand and be conscious of my biases and values. Such awareness prevents biases from affecting my interaction with patients and their families (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). In addition, I work on stereotypes and biases to eliminate them and avoid their influence. The knowledge concept is critical as it helps me understand the patient’s cultural aspects that affect our interaction. For example, some cultures prevent eye contact with an authority figure, such as a nurse. This knowledge will eliminate a misunderstanding where I might misconstrue looking away to mean that the patient is not paying attention or is disinterested in our conversation. Another bias might arise when patients nod, and I interpret it as understanding and comprehension, whereas it is only a gesture of agreement. With such cultural literacy, I will offer more holistic care to people from diverse backgrounds.

Campinha-Bacote’s theory advance many of the CLAS standards of health equity. The CLAS standards are grouped into principal standards; governance, leadership, and workforce; communication and language assistance; and engagement, continuous improvement, and accountability (Lee, 2021). The cultural theory advances some tenets of the principal standard: respectful and understandable care through health literacy and responsiveness to cultural beliefs and practices. The governance, leadership, and workforce are advanced by the desire concept, as the CLAS standard requires leaders and employees to learn cultural competence and exhibit behavior (Lee, 2021). The theory also advances the communication and language assistance CLAS standards through the knowledge and skills concepts. These help the nurse identify people who need language assistance and ensure they get it (Lee, 2021). Health literacy is central to the CLAS standards, and Campinha-Bacote’s theory focuses on cultural understanding to enhance this literacy. Patients from diverse cultural backgrounds require different methods of communication to ascertain the comprehension of their health status, treatment options, and their rights (Lee, 2021). Therefore, the ASKED concepts advance CLAS standards on equity health by ensuring every patient understands the care process.


Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare services: A model of care. Journal of transcultural nursing, 13(3), 181-184. Web.

Lee, S. (2021). Evaluation of the national CLAS standards: Tips and resources. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 64(4), 442-445. Web.

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NursingBird. (2023, July 31). Campinha-Bacote’s Cultural Theory in Nursing. Retrieved from


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NursingBird. (2023) 'Campinha-Bacote’s Cultural Theory in Nursing'. 31 July.


NursingBird. 2023. "Campinha-Bacote’s Cultural Theory in Nursing." July 31, 2023.

1. NursingBird. "Campinha-Bacote’s Cultural Theory in Nursing." July 31, 2023.


NursingBird. "Campinha-Bacote’s Cultural Theory in Nursing." July 31, 2023.