The effects of cultural diversity on providing health services

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to highlight major aspects and problems of cultural diversity in the context of providing health services, and to suggest means for overcoming problems in this context. The major issues discussed were communication as a culture-dependent process, paradigms of relationships between the health professional and the patient, and the potential of various communication features to serve as barriers or bridges between the patient and the health professional. In order to overcome inhibitory effects of cultural diversity on communication, two theoretical approaches were presented. One approach was grounded in the theory of meaning that deals with processing information, the other in cognitive orientation theory that deals with predicting, understanding and changing behaviours. Results demonstrated how to overcome stereotypes and other communication barriers by means of awareness of meanings and expansion of meanings of the relevant stimuli (e.g., patient), and by means of promoting the production of a motivational disposition grounded in beliefs about oneself, about reality, about norms and about one's goals. In summary it is possible to overcome communication barriers and other difficulties potentially dependent on cultural diversity and produce an environment in which cultural diversity is an advantage rather than a source of problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalEDTNA-ERCA Journal
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Cultural diversity
  • Meaning
  • Motivation

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