Information is necessary in order for patients to have access to health services and make free health-related choices. This is especially true for socially disadvantaged people, who might be compromised in the provision of health-related information (Braithwaite 2008). Effective communication between the professional and the patient is crucial and can be the basis for empowerment. This requires language and literacy skills on one side, and specific training as a clinical skill on the other (Kurtz 2002). In this situation, (health) illiteracy multiplies the difficulties arising from not being able to speak the local language – which means dealing with language barriers. Since in developing countries basic literacy programs are still in their early stages or still in development (Njikam 2015) and literacy rates vary across Europe, it is not surprising that migrants often have poorer access to information and educational sources (Kickbusch et al. 2013). Moreover, language barriers often coincide with cultural barriers. In fact, the relation to “poor health” is deeply culturally determined. In order to overcome language and cultural barriers, the HLS-EU Consortium (2012) suggests “environmental interventions” such as: “patient navigators, translated signage or pictograms and providing health care interpreters” or “cultural mediators”. The use of graphic illustrations is explicitly encouraged, alongside plain language. Networking and interdisciplinary interventions are highly recommended in order to reach more people.

Introduction

VECCHIATO, Sara
2015

Abstract

Information is necessary in order for patients to have access to health services and make free health-related choices. This is especially true for socially disadvantaged people, who might be compromised in the provision of health-related information (Braithwaite 2008). Effective communication between the professional and the patient is crucial and can be the basis for empowerment. This requires language and literacy skills on one side, and specific training as a clinical skill on the other (Kurtz 2002). In this situation, (health) illiteracy multiplies the difficulties arising from not being able to speak the local language – which means dealing with language barriers. Since in developing countries basic literacy programs are still in their early stages or still in development (Njikam 2015) and literacy rates vary across Europe, it is not surprising that migrants often have poorer access to information and educational sources (Kickbusch et al. 2013). Moreover, language barriers often coincide with cultural barriers. In fact, the relation to “poor health” is deeply culturally determined. In order to overcome language and cultural barriers, the HLS-EU Consortium (2012) suggests “environmental interventions” such as: “patient navigators, translated signage or pictograms and providing health care interpreters” or “cultural mediators”. The use of graphic illustrations is explicitly encouraged, alongside plain language. Networking and interdisciplinary interventions are highly recommended in order to reach more people.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1100016
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