Cultural Respect Encompassing Simulation Training (CREST)

Project Details

Health care practitioners are seeing an increasingly diverse range of patients including migrants and refugees; yet health professional students and practitioners have limited opportunities for cultural sensitivity training. The central elements of culturally competent care are a patient-centred focus, effective provider-patient communication, balancing factual and attitudinal competence, expressing cultural respect and humility, understanding cultural safety and the influence of culture on health. Incorporating these culturally sensitive elements into health care provision is critical to reducing the inequities in quality of care for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients.

Cultural Respect Encompassing Simulation Training (CREST) is an educational research project involving the development and delivery of a cultural competence curriculum. The CREST program developed a series of five cultural sensitivity training modules using immersive simulation scenarios that aimed to improve cultural sensitivity communication training for medical, nursing, physiotherapy, social work and paramedic students. A network of trained CALD simulated patients then piloted the modules and case scenarios with students in uni-disciplinary and multidisciplinary groups. The five modules cover

  • Introduction to Cultural Diversity
  • Negotiating between different health beliefs
  • Effective communication when English Proficiency is low
  • Communicating culturally sensitive issues
  • Communication and Indigenous healthcare

CREST now delivers these modules to various health professionals, as well as medical, nursing and allied health students. Simulated patients are employed to fill the current gap in experiential teaching, providing the opportunity for learners to go beyond the theoretical boundaries, to practise and receive feedback, and most importantly, to interact with people from similar patient populations to those which they will care for in practice.

The research aspect of the project is a rigorous evaluation of the teaching and learning within a strong theoretical framework that contributes to the continuing refinement of course delivery. The resources available on the CREST website enable the wider community of health professional educators and tutors to deliver cultural sensitivity training using simulation techniques. They also offer students and practitioners an opportunity to utilise the modules and case scenarios where simulation training may not be readily available.

CREST website


  • Dr Phyllis Lau, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Ann-Maree Duncan, Project Coordinator


  • Karen Livesay, Academic Director, Simulated Learning Coordinator, Interprofessional Education Program, Victoria University


Health Workforce Australia
Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Research Outcomes

Lau P, Woodward-Kron R, Livesay K, Elliott K, Nicholson P. Cultural Respect Encompassing Simulation Training – Being Heard about Health through Broadband. Journal of Public health Research

Research Group

Diabetes and Cardio-Metabolic Conditions

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Critical Care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice and Primary Care

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