Meeting the needs of a culturally diverse nation: An evaluation of a behavioural program adapted to treat Vietnamese Australians experiencing gambling problems

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Sue Bertossa, My Phuong Sramek, Kate Fairweather, and Sharon Lawn


Equity is an important principle of health care in Australia, and redesigning health services to meet the needs of culturally marginalised groups has the potential to improve accessibility to psychotherapy. This paper describes the collaborative efforts of an ethno-specific service and a specialist treatment service to provide an evidence-informed intervention to treat Vietnamese Australian individuals experiencing gambling problems. Employing a clinical case audit tool and drawing on the evidence of 33 participants, the study identified which features of therapeutic practice had the most impact on retention and treatment completion. Moderate but influential adjustments to the delivery of a standard behavioural treatment program improved access, treatment adherence, and success for Vietnamese Australians experiencing gambling problems. These findings have significant implications for health care provision in a culturally diverse nation. Results highlight the importance of service adaptation to address under-utilisation and under-representation of psychotherapy services by culturally marginalised groups due to language and cultural barriers.


Keywords: health equity, cultural adaptation, psychotherapy, Asian, Vietnamese, gambling


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