Communication Challenges

What are the barriers to effective communication?

The Sharing the True Stories project identified a range of factors which contributed to the serious communication difficulties revealed in the encounters. Many of these factors are common to other areas of health care and could be expected to have similar consequences for communication and quality of care.

At the broadest level, there were systemic factors that prevented even the most experienced and motivated staff and patients from achieving effective communication. These included:

  • the cultural specificity of services and lack of accommodation of the needs of Indigenous consumers
  • the location of control over all aspects of renal care, including encounters, primarily with staff
  • the absence of appropriate training for staff to ensure they have the capacity to provide optimum services to their Yol\u patients

These political and systemic barriers were compounded by the extreme cultural and linguistic distance between participating staff and patients which are reflected in their very different ways of communicating and learning.

Click on any of the topics below to go directly to information about these barriers to effective communication

Systemic Barriers
Power and control in intercultural communication
Beyond management of communication: controlling behaviour.
Power and agency in biomedical discourse: verbalisation as cause??
Competence in intercultural communication
Different worlds, different languages..
Contrasting discourse systems..
Cultural distance
Different ways of talking..
Terms and metaphors..
Key concepts
Key concepts in renal care: Yolŋu priorities
Key concepts in renal care: Balanda priorites
Masking of miscommunication
Masking of miscommunication - examples.
They speak good English...