Communication in Healthcare: Considerations and strategies for successful consumer and team dialogue

  • Schwartz F
  • Lowe M
  • Sinclair L
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The ability to communicate information and ideas effective-ly is increasingly recognized as critical to the success of the healthcare system. Effective communication is required not only for successful interactions between individuals and their health care providers but also between health care providers themselves. As research and best practice initiatives continue to grow, the need for researchers to effectively communicate with these groups is also important. However, there are many challenges inherent to health communication, including low health literacy, cultural diversity, contradicting/confusing health information as well as a lack of training for health care professionals in communicating with consumers. These chal-lenges are further exacerbated by health care professionals who may lack the ability to communicate effectively across professions. The health care system and science communication over-all can be made more accessible to individuals using a range of strategies including critically reflecting on assumptions. In this article, several root causes of difficulty in communica-tion will be discussed, and practical suggestions given to en-able more effective communication of ideas between individu-als with differing backgrounds in the health care system. For those working in health care and the sciences, an awareness of how best to enable effective communication presents im-portant opportunities for the future.




Schwartz, F., Lowe, M., & Sinclair, L. (2009). Communication in Healthcare: Considerations and strategies for successful consumer and team dialogue. Hypothesis, 8(1).

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