Intercultural communication in three Eastern Cape HIV/AIDS clinics

Mandla, V. M. (2009) Intercultural communication in three Eastern Cape HIV/AIDS clinics. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

There are many inequities that exist in health-care that stem from culture related communication misunderstandings. In most cases where doctors and patients from different cultural and linguistic background interact, doctors use medical language which is different from everyday language used by patients. Patients enter this communication context with anxiety because they depend on the physicians to give them accurate information concerning their health, but they do not always understand all the terms used by physicians to inform them about their conditions. In some cases interpreters are used but their expertise is often inadequate and the interpreting of the patient’s statements to the health staff is also prone to distortion by interpreter / doctor because of the lack of proper understanding of the messages / languages. This may result in a deterioration of the patient’s health condition and unavoidable complications. This research is motivated by the need to improve communication between doctors and patients, who do not share the same cultural and linguistic repertoire when attempting to communicate. In this study I explore the intervention strategies used by the doctors who are not proficient in isiXhosa when communicating with their patients; identify problems which occur in the interpreting process from English to isiXhosa and vice versa; examine how cultural differences between doctors and patients contribute to miscommunication; and establish whether the isiXhosa mother–tongue speaking doctor has developed communication strategies which can be of assistance to non–Xhosa-speaking doctors. The findings reinforce the need for trained health interpreters to work exclusively as translators and to employ them thereafter.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Intercultural communication; HIV/AIDS clinics; doctors and patients; isiXhosa speaking doctors; English speakers
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Africa, Eastern Asia, Oceania > African languages and literature
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > School of Languages > African Languages
Supervisors:Kaschula, R. (Prof.)
ID Code:1610
Deposited By: Nicolene Mvinjelwa
Deposited On:26 Apr 2010 09:34
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:21
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