Topic Editors

School of Public Health, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
Dr. Teresa Brockie
School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Dr. Vicki Kerrigan
Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Rocklands Drv., Casuarina, NT 0810, Australia

Cultural Safety – towards a Global Research Agenda

Abstract submission deadline
closed (15 April 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
15 June 2023
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

This topic focuses on the concept of cultural safety as it appears in any discipline, worldwide, with any population group, and within any cultural context. The origin of cultural safety began in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1988 and is used in diverse contexts. This topic develops a baseline of the status of cultural safety philosophy, theory, practice, policy, methodologies, and measurement. From the baseline, to outline a research agenda for cultural safety that addresses its most significant challenges, such as (but not limited to) the measurement of impact and assessment of validity by groups to which it is applied.

1) Cultural safety refers to ensuring safe environments for cultural modes of life that differ from the dominant normative conventions of a society. The ‘cultural’ refers to socioeconomic status, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, migrant/refugee status, religious beliefs, disability, LGBTQIA+, professional cultures, and so on. People need to feel that their self-identity is safe to express, such as people whose cultural identities are minoritised, othered, discriminated against, marginalised, and inequitably treated in society. Their rights to safely practice their cultural beliefs are challenged through poor attitudes, values, and behaviours that lead to them being diminished, demeaned, and disempowered. They are subjected to disadvantages on multiple fronts, such as education, welfare, health, employment, justice, and political representation. Cultural safety is positioned as a solution to address inequities resulting from negative attitudes to cultural differences.

2) The aim of this topic is to bring together diverse research on cultural safety to form a baseline from which to develop a research roadmap that addresses keystone research issues. Diversity is an objective, with cultural safety evident in research about Indigenous Peoples worldwide, BIPOC, LGBQTIA+, professions (nursing, doctors, and allied health), social policy (healthcare, child protection, education, welfare, justice, environment, globalisation, and free-trade), multicultural communities, immigrant communities, and culturally and linguistic diverse communities, and in different countries (Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Columbia, Sweden, Greece, Guatemala, Iran, Norway, Zimbabwe, Spain, and more).

3) The suggested themes are as wide ranging as are the interpretations of ‘culture’ and ‘safety’ in cultural safety. These include: themes from the philosophical to theoretical to empirical; themes on all aspects of research design: ethics, questions, methods, analysis, data, and writing; conceptual themes from whiteness, privilege, power, identity, reflexivity, culture, and safety; themes on translation: stakeholder engagement, forms of communication, process, and benefit; themes on assessment from the perspective of participants: survey design, validation, measurement, and evaluation; political themes: cultural validity, cultural concepts (humility, competence, capability, etc.), cultural appropriation, and the effects of research market competition; and themes on the ‘-sims’ and ‘-obias’: racism, sexism, ableism, classism, elitism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, etc.

In this Topic, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Validation—how is the concept’s relevance established with the community and participants to which it is applied?
  2. Measurement—how is the concept measured when it is an active an ongoing process? This also applies to reflexivity, critical consciousness, communication, and different forms of power.
  3. Methodology—what steps are necessary for the concept to be clearly unpacked into methodological steps?
  4. Impact and benefit—what is necessary to describe the impact of the concept in different social policy domains?
  5. Evaluation—what is the state of the field in evaluating cultural safety, is there a role for economic evaluation, and what are the key gaps that need to be addressed?
  6. Philosophy—is cultural safety a philosophy, a theory, or an idea?
  7. Definitions—what are the implications of diverse definitions of cultural safety?
  8. Culture—is there a way to benchmark the core attributes of ‘culture’ and ‘identity’ in cultural safety so that there is some stability for research comparison and contrast?
  9. Safety—the culturally grounded views of safety have implications for the concepts’ validity; how can different views of ‘safety’ be reconciled to enable comparison across cultures?
  10. Research process—has cultural safety resulted in changes to research processes conducted with marginalised cultures?
  11. Associated concepts—white privilege, racism and anti-racism, othering, decolonisation, colonialism, critical consciousness, and others, are associated with cultural safety; are they validly linked to cultural safety?
  12. Cultural concept confusion—cultural safety is associated with cultural humility, cultural security, cultural competence, cultural capability, and many others: what are the philosophical and empirical links in and between them and cultural safety?
  13. Population groups—cultural safety is applied in diverse population groups, but have they been asked and is the concept valid to them?
  14. Theories—cultural safety is associated with different theoretical perspectives: grounded theory, structuration, critical race theory, feminist theory, Indigenist, constructivism, etc., but are these valid methodologies to be used in cultural safety research?
  15. Methods—innumerable methods deployed under the umbrella of cultural safety (literature reviews, interviews, yarning, narrative reviews, statistical methods, and many more qualitative and quantitative); how are methods validated for their alignment with cultural safety theory?
  16. Practice—from the frontline to the Board of organisations, who creates a culturally safe environment, is there a place for cultural safety in staff performance appraisals, and how can the incredible array of actions that occur in daily practice influence the creating of culturally safe practice?
  17. Institutional, organisational, and political—cultural safety is advocated in legislation, regulation, governance, and politics; what role should empirical analysis play in these domains? Furthermore, what are the keystone messages that researchers can use to leverage reforms outside of their research comfort zones?

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Mark Lock
Dr. Teresa Brockie
Dr. Vicki Kerrigan
Topic Editors


  • cultural safety
  • culturally safe
  • cultural concepts
  • indigenous
  • research

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Current Oncology
3.109 3.5 1994 19.6 Days 1800 CHF Submit
- - 2017 30.9 Days 1200 CHF Submit
3.160 2.0 2013 19.1 Days 2000 CHF Submit
- - 2013 19.4 Days 1600 CHF Submit
- 2.9 2015 31.3 Days 1600 CHF Submit
3.889 5.0 2009 17.7 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
3.711 4.8 2016 15.1 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Administrative Sciences
- 3.4 2011 19.1 Days 1400 CHF Submit

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Innovative Technologies for Occupational Health and Safety: A Scoping Review
Safety 2023, 9(2), 35; - 26 May 2023
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Technological advancements have allowed for the design and development of multiple intelligent devices that monitor the health and safety status of workers in the industry in general. This paper reviews and describes the alternative technologies and their potential for monitoring risk situations, vital [...] Read more.
Technological advancements have allowed for the design and development of multiple intelligent devices that monitor the health and safety status of workers in the industry in general. This paper reviews and describes the alternative technologies and their potential for monitoring risk situations, vital signs, physical variables, worker positions, and behavioral trends of workers in their work activities in the workplace. A scoping review was conducted using PRISMA ScR in which information was extracted from 99 scientific articles related to these technological advances. The operational characteristics and utilities of devices whose primary function is to control better and monitor worker safety and health were identified. It was concluded that technology strongly improves the acquisition and sending of information. This information can be used to provide alerts and feedback to workers so that they act more safely and protect their health. In addition, technological developments have resulted in devices that eliminate operational risks by replacing manual activities with automated and autonomous tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cultural Safety – towards a Global Research Agenda)
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