Communication Aids for Medical Personnel and Foreign-Language Patients and Their Relations in Paediatric Care.

Drack, Murielle; Kaufmann, Beatrice; Scheuermann, Arne (2016). Communication Aids for Medical Personnel and Foreign-Language Patients and Their Relations in Paediatric Care. In: 3rd International Well-Being Conference. Birmingham / UK. 05.-06.09.2016.

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Clear, comprehensible communication between medical experts and patients in their care is essential. Misunderstandings can cause a sense of insecurity and even incorrect action on the part of the patient. Therefore, foreign-language patients are a special challenge to nursing staff. This situation will become increasingly problematic as immigration rates rise. The aim of the initial project was to define guidelines for the type of communication aids needed by nursing staff in paediatrics. Such guidelines had to encompass the acceptability, comprehension and interpretation of the communication aid with the children. Research questions: • What aids can support communication between nursing staff and foreign-language paediatric patients? • What design parameters have to be considered when developing such aids so that they are accepted, understood and properly interpreted by children from different cultural backgrounds who have little or no understanding of the local language? Patients' needs were determined by means of two focus-group workshops. In workshop 1 (held with nurses), personal experiences were reported and methods and aids were discussed. Extant analog and digital tools were presented, and ideas for new aids were developed. In workshop 2, children with an immigrant background offered their interpretion of the visual depictions along with their preferences, and described procedures in visual terms. The evaluation of workshop 1 allowed conclusions to be made about the type of communication aids required by nursing staff. The results of workshop 2 offered recommendations for the design of such aids. Based on these findings, a follow-up project which is currently taking place, is focused on the development of these corresponding communication aids.

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Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute of Design Research


Drack, Murielle;
Kaufmann, Beatrice0000-0003-2106-724X and
Scheuermann, Arne0000-0001-5134-2121




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Date Deposited:

04 Mar 2020 14:18

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2022 21:45




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