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Cultural Differences

  • By: Désirée Lie
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Face-to-face health communication requires mutual understanding between provider and client to achieve optimal health outcomes for the client. Such understanding is based not only on a common spoken language but also on the interpretation of health and wellness in the context of the client and his or her family and community. Cross-cultural differences in understanding present a challenge not only to providers attempting to share or transmit specific information but also to clients attempting to understand their own condition, to adhere to advice, or to negotiate other management or treatment options. Cultural differences may arise between those with different race or ethnicity, primary language preference, ancestry, age, religion, sexual preference or identity, physical ability, and across the socioeconomic and educational spectrum. Hence, every health care ...

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