Effectiveness of Multicultural Communication between Radiographers and Patients and Its Impact on Outcome of Examinations
William K. Antwi, Kofi Adesi Kyei and Lily N. A. Quarcoopome
World Journal of Medical Research 2014, 3:4
Communication plays an important role in the practice of radiography. It is important that radiographers are aware of patients’ physical and emotional needs which could be achieved through effective communication. The diversity of the patient population creates challenges to quality healthcare provision to all segments of the population, without effective communication.
The research aims at assessing the effectiveness of multicultural communication and its impact on the outcome of radiological examinations.
Method: A research design using quantitative approach was employed. A convenience sampling method was used to select a sample of 100 patients and 28 radiographers. A questionnaire consisting of close- and open-ended questionnaires were administered to the participants.
The results showed that 39% (n = 11/28) radiographers were relatively fluent in other languages in addition to English. Also, radiographers employed other methods such as touch, hand gestures and sign language to overcome language barriers. Moreover, 77% (n = 77/100) of the patients were fluent in English, though majority preferred communicating in their native languages. Nonetheless, 63% (n = 63/100) of the patients could not freely discuss their concerns with the radiographer and felt that the radiographer was not approachable. However, the patients had an overall good perception of the radiographer.
Generally, multicultural communication in the radiology department is effective. However, efforts are impeded due to time constraints and lack of guidelines to approach cultural barriers.