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Title: An inclusive design perspective on communication barriers in healthcare for ethnic minority consumers
Author: Taylor, Shena Parthab
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis contributes original knowledge through an inclusive design approach to lowering language and communication barriers in healthcare and suggests shifting the discussion from culture to context to lower intra-cultural hindrances towards learning English amongst some ethnic minorities. It offers an adaptable, scalable concept for gathering data on ethnic minorities (considering both different generations and religions) and employs a framework based analysis in design. Over the course of three studies grounded on theoretical insights from literature, primary research lead to the development and testing of innovative aids for communication, including educative and motivational elements. This research began by seeking to understand ethnic minority consumers (EMCs) perceptions of any barriers hindering their take-up of products or services in the UK, and their preferences. This is particularly significant as the UK s EMC population is predicted to double by 2051 and to diversify further, presenting challenges for social cohesion and planning future community goals. EMCs also represent a significant market for service and product providers. The research focussed on EMCs from the Indian Subcontinent based on religions and generations. It highlighted that first generation females lacking English and/or literacy (across religions and age groups) faced problems with services and issues around empowerment . The importance of improved access to healthcare was a strong theme. On investigating NHS staffs perceptions, five barriers were identified (Language barriers; Low-literacy; a Lack of understanding; Attitudes, gender and health beliefs; and Information retention) and that a female subgroup was particularly affected. This study sets out staffs perceptions of the aids currently employed and suggestions of what would help. It identified a (currently) low use of visual communication aids in adult-patient care and that pharmacist-patient communication in pharmacies was low. Ideally, staff would like patients to learn English and to use more low-cost visual communication aids. These findings lead to the development of innovative visual communication aids through inclusive and user-centred approaches and participatory design and brainstorming methods. This enabled the development of aids by considering the needs of NHS staff, EMCs lacking English and/or literacy and indigenous elderly people to promote better patient-staff communication including a take-away educational element for learning English at home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ethnic minorities ; Language barriers ; Cultural factors ; Cross cultural factors ; Healthcare ; Elderly people ; Visual communication ; Inclusive design ; User centred design