Scientific article
Open access

The relevance of clinical ethnography: reflections on 10 years of a cultural consultation service

Published inBMC Health Services Research, vol. 18, no. 1, 19
Publication date2018

Training health professionals in culturally sensitive medical interviewing has been widely promoted as a strategy for improving intercultural communication and for helping clinicians to consider patients' social and cultural contexts and improve patient outcomes. Clinical ethnography encourages clinicians to explore the patient's explanatory model of illness, recourse to traditional and alternative healing practices, healthcare expectations and social context, and to use this information to negotiate a mutually acceptable treatment plan. However, while clinical ethnographic interviewing skills can be successfully taught and learned, the "real-world" context of medical practice may impose barriers to such patient-centered interviewing. Creating opportunities for role modeling and critical reflection may help overcome some of these barriers, and contribute to improved intercultural communication in healthcare. We report and reflect on a retrospective analysis of 10 years experience with a "cultural consultation service" (CCS) whose aim is to provide direct support to clinicians who encounter intercultural difficulties and to model the usefulness of clinical ethnographic interviewing for patient care.

Citation (ISO format)
DOMINICE DAO, Mélissa et al. The relevance of clinical ethnography: reflections on 10 years of a cultural consultation service. In: BMC Health Services Research, 2018, vol. 18, n° 1, p. 19. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2823-x
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1472-6963

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