Design Your Patient Handouts and Surveys with Low Literacy in Mind 

The ability of any patient or caregiver to communicate ailments/symptoms, medical history (personal and family), and other medical information is vital to proper care. Similarly, while it is important to assess the patient and/or family’s experience of care, many satisfaction surveys used in healthcare settings are designed without attention paid to low literacy, language barriers, and...
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Screening for Pregnancy-related Depression In Private Practice Settings: Cross-Cultural Considerations

  Although the cultural aspects of the pregnancy-related period have been studied extensively worldwide, the impact of cultural factors upon pregnancy-related depression ( also known as postpartum depression) has been less investigated. Most research into pregnancy-related depression has been conducted in Western, developed countries (see reviews by Kumar, 1994; O’Hara & Swain,...
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The Challenge of Low Health Literacy Among Patients and Caregivers of ALL Cultures

Recognizing the impact of low health literacy on patient compliance and health outcomes is extremely important. A strong body of evidence points directly to the importance of caregiver health literacy as a factor in child health outcomes specifically. Education, written literacy, numerical literacy, socio-economic status, limited English proficiency and culturally-based understanding of illness...
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Manage Your Speech to Save Time and Be More Effective with Telephone Interpreters

Communication in health care settings is inherently challenging, even when providers and patients/families share the same cultural background and speak the same language. Consider the following: Health care professionals speak “medicine.” The complex technical nature of their language doesn’t always translate easily into plain English. Adding to the challenge of translating medical expertise is...
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Eliciting Quality Patient Responses in Cross-Cultural Care

The cultural worlds created by humans are not controlled by universal laws of science; each culture operates according to its own internal dynamic. Even members of a given culture acquire most of what they know in the process of growing up. Relating to other people isn’t learned the way, for example, disease theory is learned. So culture can’t be distilled into learned facts and doctors really...
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8 Tips for Communicating with Limited English Proficiency Patients

Many of the private practices I have visited for the purpose of cross-cultural training are lucky to have staff and providers on their team who speak Spanish and other foreign languages. However, some practices are seeing patients from such diverse cultural backgrounds that it is impossible to have staff and providers capable of understanding all the languages of these patients. During...
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