Project Details


The language barrier is one of the main problems of communication between healthcare staff and allophone users in Spain. The foreign population in spain has not stopped increasing since the migratory boom of the 1990s, two thirds of which come from countries where a language other than Spanish or the other official languages of Spain are spoken.
According to IDESCAT, 16,3% of the population of Catalonia has a foreign nationality. The efforts invested over the last three decades by healthcare services and public administration to tackle communication barriers have proved insufficient in the face of the constant flow, not only of immigrants and refugees, but also of tourists who visit our country.
This project aims to study and evaluate intercultural communication in healthcare public services in Catalonia in order to identify problems and offer specific solutions that can be of benefit both to foreign users of these services and to the efficiency of the healthcare services themselves. The research will focus specifically on mediated intercultural communication (communication through an interpreter, intercultural mediator, health agent, family member or other figures), taking into account the perspective of all the agents directly or indirectly involved in this mediation in hospitals and primary healthcare centers in catalonia.
The achievement of this main aim will be carried out through three macro-objectives, each one of which has a series of specific objectives associated and requires a specific methodology.
- The macro-objective I aims to offer an accurate picture of the current situation of mediated intercultural communication in the Catalan healthcare sector mainly through wide scope questionnaires.
- The macro-objective II will evaluate public policies aimed at the management of intercultural communication in the healthcare sector in Catalonia mainly through in depth interviews with strategic agents of public health policies in Catalonia and the analysis of regulatory texts
- The macro objective III aims to analyze the attitudes of the different actors involved with regard to mediated intercultural communication through focus groups and in-depth interviews to healthcare staff, healthcare services’ users and professional and non-professional linguistic intermediators.
The results will provide evidence-based healthcare data, as well as a series of recommendation and materials, both for healthcare providers and policymakers around effective communication between health service providers and the service users with limited knowledge of local languages.
Although research on intercultural communication in healthcare has extensively been conducted both at international and national levels, no project has focused yet on the situation in Catalonia and no research has been still conducted after the harsh years of the economic and employment crisis and the covid-19 health crisis, which makes this project particularly relevant.
Effective start/end date1/09/2331/08/26


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