The Cultural Information Gathering Tool (CIGT) is completed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Workers at first contact with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander client/consumer. It was developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHWs of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service Mental Health Service Group (MHSG). In 2010 and 2011 CIGT trials were conducted and evaluated. Feedback from consumers, clinicians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHWs supported the implementation of the tool as standard, leading to a decision to introduce the tool across the MHSG.
Since 2012 the CIGT has been implemented widely in Queensland as a best practice tool to provide cultural information to clinical staff to inform care, treatment and discharge planning. It has been used all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHWs within Queensland working in acute inpatient services, some tertiary services including substance use, specialist child and adult mental health services, rural and remote service and rehabilitation.
The process underpinning the use of CIGT aims to ensure a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including being able to see an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHW when attending the service. The CIGT is used to formalise collection of cultural information to enhance availability to treating teams across the continuum of care for individuals and their families; to strengthen the working partnership between MHWs and clinicians, and to provide direction and structure for the role of the MHW.
The DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview was designed to enable interviewers to develop a better understanding of cultural considerations and assist in clinical decision making. The interview focuses on cultural identity, cultural understanding and explanations of distress, cultural stressors and supports, and cultural elements in the consumer-practitioner relationship.
The CFI includes a basic 16-item interview for consumers, a 17-item informant (e.g., carer) interview and 12 supplemental modules. The modules provide questions linked to the CFI and cover in more depth the consumers’ understanding and explanation of their issues and concerns, level of functioning, social network, psychosocial stressors, spirituality, religion and moral traditions, cultural identity, coping and help-seeking, and the relationship between consumer and practitioner. Four modules are designed for specific groups: children and youth, older adults, migrants and refugees, and carers.