A systematic review of global health assessment for healthcare professions education

Sharon E. Connor, Lauren J Jonkman, Jordan R Covvey, Abby A Kahaleh, Sharon K Park, Melody Ryan, Michele Klein-Fedyshin, Negar Golchin, Regine Beliard Veillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Emphasis on global health education is growing, with schools/colleges developing relevant courses, areas of concentration, and other didactic content. Organizations such as the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) provide guidance for competencies in global health, but evaluation strategies are lacking. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to identify methods and tools utilized to assess knowledge, skills, and attitudes in global health courses for health science students.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. The initial search was conducted using controlled vocabularies to screen PubMed, EMBASE, Global Health using Ovid, CINAHL, and ERIC from January 1997 to March 2020. Included articles detailed students in health professions, described a didactic educational intervention related to global health, and described assessment strategies and results.

Results: A total of 12,113 titles/abstracts were identified. Based on the study inclusion criteria, 545 full texts were reviewed, and 79 full-text articles were selected for qualitative synthesis. Findings of the research revealed that cultural competence (70.9%) was evaluated most often, followed by health disparities (26.6%) and global health itself (12.7%). Most articles used quantitative assessment methods (86.1%), with surveys being the predominant method. A total of 91.1% of studies assessed perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs, while fewer evaluated knowledge (43.0%) and skills (19.0%). The most common validated tool employed was the Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence (IAPCC).

Conclusions: Based of the results of this study, the majority of the assessment tools utilized for global health education focused on cultural competence. One of the important findings of this research is the lack of validated instruments to assess students’ skills in health disparities and global health. Given the recent global pandemic, these skills are essential for educating health care professionals to enhance global health.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalAnnals of Global Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 6 2022


  • global health
  • assessment


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