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Disparate healthcare experiences of culturally diverse patients in Minnesota: relevance to RT

TitleDisparate healthcare experiences of culturally diverse patients in Minnesota: relevance to RT
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsTabourne, CES, Lin, L
JournalAnnual in Therapeutic RecreationAnnual in Therapeutic Recreation
Volume18
Pagination24-39
KeywordsAlternative Therapies, Appointments and Schedules, Audiorecording, Blacks, Body Language, Coding, Communication -- Minnesota, Cultural Values -- Minnesota, Education, Continuing (Credit), Ethnic Groups -- Minnesota, Facial Expression, Female, Health Care Delivery -- Minnesota, Health Facility Environment, Hispanics, Hmong, Human, Interviews, Language, Male, Medicine, Traditional, Minnesota, Native Americans, Nonverbal Communication, Patient Attitudes -- Minnesota, Personal Boundaries, Posture, Professional-Patient Relations -- Minnesota, Qualitative Studies, Respect, Sex Factors, Somalia -- Ethnology, Stereotyping, Thematic Analysis, Touch
AbstractThis paper presents valuable information offered by members of five diverse cultural groups during one phase of a two-phase study concerning verbal and non-verbal behavioral factors that influence patient-provider relationships in healthcare settings. Seventeen consultants from five cultural groups (i.e. Somali, Hmong, Hispanic, African American and Native American) in Twin Cities, Minnesota were recruited to share, in group or private interviews, authentic information about their cultures, examples of experiences that exemplify effective and ineffective communication between patient and provider, and suggestions for remediation. The consultants emphasized the need for care providers (e.g. recreation therapists) to be aware of their verbal and non-verbal behavior, and self-monitoring when they interact with patients from diverse cultures. Particular behaviors that are sensitive or offensive to specific cultural groups may be dissimilar to the dominant American culture such as preferences for personal space and hand gestures. Other issues unique to certain cultures relate to gender defined expectations or questions typically asked in healthcare and that are regarded as taboo and extremely offensive. Effective communication, therefore, acceptable verbal and non-verbal behavior to the cultural norms of the patients, is the responsibility of the providers to establish rapport during the initial assessment and to begin building trusting relationships with diverse communities.
Ethno Med: