Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



The need for culturally competent care for the elderly is of growing concern for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and health providers. In 2012, a preliminary study was conducted to ascertain the perspectives of service providers about the cultural competency of services for elderly Vietnamese Americans in Boston, Massachusetts. The study includes interviews with key informants representing the five major community health centers (CHC) programs in Boston’s Vietnamese enclave in the Dorchester neighborhood. Secondary data collection from field observations and informal communications with other staff and elderly clients also inform the findings. While the study recognizes the value of existing services, critical needs remain unmet in terms of resource allocation, client tracking, bicultural staff training and recruitment, targeted developmental activities for Vietnamese aging populations, and clear programmatic evaluation measurements. The study highlights the need for further research on cultural competency models and best practices for aging immigrant minority populations in Boston like the Vietnamese in Dorchester.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.


Institute for Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston



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