ERIC Number: ED126691
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Problems of Communication in the Cross-Cultural Medical Interview. Working Papers in Sociolinguistics, No. 19.
Current medical practice expects the minority patient to bend his linguistic and cultural background to that of the physician, a situation which interferes with effective doctor/patient communication. This study examines the problems in doctor/patient communication in the cross-cultural medical interview, with a special focus on the black, inner-city patient. Three types of investigation were followed. Evaluative questionnaires were administered to patients and doctors to determine subjective evidence for or against communication breakdown in the medical history interview; actual verbal exchanges between doctor and patient were observed, recorded, and typescripted; and extant automated routines for eliciting medical histories by means of a computerized console were examined. On a continuum with doctors speaking doctor language on one end, and patients speaking patient language on the other, the breakdown appears at either end. Communication appears to take place successfully at the center of the continuum. Since the burden for communication has traditionally been placed on the patient, it is suggested that the medical profession assume a more responsible attitude to this problem. One suggestion entails exposing medical sutdents to minority languages and cultures. Two sample questionnaires are appended. (Author/AM)
Descriptors: Black Community, Communication (Thought Transfer), Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Influences, Language Attitudes, Language Role, Language Usage, Language Variation, Medical Case Histories, Medical Education, Minority Groups, Mutual Intelligibility, Patients, Social Dialects, Social Influences, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Verbal Communication
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 211 East 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Science Research Council, New York, NY. Committee on Sociolinguistics.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.