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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Challenges in communicating with ethnically diverse populations

Challenges in communicating with ethnically diverse populations

Chapter:
(p.375) Chapter 32 Challenges in communicating with ethnically diverse populations
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Bejoy C Thomas

Joshua J Lounsberry

Linda E Carlson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0032

The incidence of cancer amongst these ethnic minorities is generally comparable to that of the host population. People from ethnically diverse backgrounds with cancer are at risk for poor outcomes when they are immigrants to a new country. This disparity takes many forms and can impact both access to care and use of available treatment services, ultimately resulting in poorer physical and psychological outcomes. Communication difficulties between patients and healthcare providers may be a significant cause of these less-than-optimal outcomes for people new to the system. Both language and cultural barriers can contribute to this problem. Some solutions to overcome language differences are to have trained translators present, and follow several simple rules to facilitate accurate translation. Different styles of decision-making across cultures also need to be taken into account by healthcare providers. Optimally, healthcare providers need to acknowledge and examine their beliefs, stereotypes, and prejudices around different cultures, and question how these affect their behaviour with patients.

Keywords:   cancer, minorities, patients, translators, language differences, decision-making, healthcare providers, cultures, communication

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