Intercultural health communication is the exchange of symbolic messages about health between and among people who are unlike culturally. The growing diversity in the United States and around the world results in people from different cultural backgrounds interacting with each other about a variety of health topics. Effective health communication results in patient satisfaction, patient compliance, and other positive health outcomes. However, effective health communication is difficult between people of the same culture; intercultural health communication provides yet additional challenges to consider. This entry explores what culture is, difficulties and challenges to intercultural health communication, and the importance of cultural competence within microlevel interactions such as patient–provider settings.

What Is Culture?

Culture is a learned system of meaning for a group of people that creates a shared ...

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