A heuristic framework for the cultural adaptation of interventions

Manuel Barrera, Felipe Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


What conditions justify cultural adaptations to evidence-based treatments, and how might those adaptations be developed? Lau's (2006) analysis brought considerable clarity to these questions. We place Lau's insights and those of others within an elaborated framework that proposes tests of three types of cultural equivalence to determine when evidence-based treatments might merit adaptations: equivalence of (a) engagement, (b) action theory, and (c) conceptual theory. Extrapolating from Lau's examples and recommendations of others, we describe a sequence for developing adaptations that consists of the following phases: (a) information gathering, (b) preliminary adaptation design, (c) preliminary adaptation tests, and (d) adaptation refinement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Cultural adaptation
  • Ethnicity
  • Evidence-based treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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