Multicultural Communication Culture Ethnicity Illiteracy and Effective Communication in Healthcare Setting

Multicultural Communication Culture Ethnicity Illiteracy and Effective Communication in Healthcare Setting

Multicultural Communication and Background

Translation of patient education in a healthcare context where multiple cultures are identified is referred to as multicultural communication in health care (Horváth & Molnár, 2021). Patient heterogeneity, sociocultural context, and communication are cited as influences on health care and patient response. T

he need for culturally proficient health care results from the healthcare system’s inability to offer appropriate treatment to all sections of the population, implying that recognizing patient-physician communication is critical for developing policies for a proficient healthcare system.

The origins of multicultural communication may be traced back to commerce, travel, and communication, all of which have gotten faster and simpler, resulting in an interaction between individuals from other cultures (Donnikova, 2018).

Humans have discovered ways to overcome barriers owing to warfare, geographical reasons, or beliefs in maintaining ethnic purity, resulting in cultural interaction. Trade and emigration have brought individuals from all cultures and backgrounds together, making cross-cultural dialogue necessary.

Culture, Ethnicity, and Acculturation

Ethnicity is the recognition of a population based on the apparent cultural difference that elevates the group to the status of the individuals.  Language, music, morals, art, styles, literature, marriage, spirituality, tradition, cuisine, identity, and cultural history convey this diversity of ethnicity (Weinreich, 2020).

Cultural extensiveness defines ethnicity as a separate collection of cultural elements perceived as revealing themselves in commonly distinctive ways over a population’s sociocultural life. Ethnic identity as a concept is often rationalized, yet people of an ethnicity display their ethnic identity in several ways based on diverse identification patterns. Individuals of one ethnicity may identify with aspects of other cultures in multicultural settings (Weinreich, 2020).

Culture is a set of common values, perceptions, social structures, and attitudes by a certain community. Acculturation refers to the process of transformation in artifacts, practices, and beliefs that occur due to interaction between two or more civilizations and the outcomes of such changes (Ward, 2020).

The settings under which cultural interaction and change occur separate two basic forms of acculturation: incorporation and directed change (Ward, 2020). When individuals of diverse cultures retain interaction as well as civic and societal self-determination, incorporation ensues. When one group achieves domination over another, directed change develops.

How Cultural and Religious Variations Influence Health Practitioners and the Problems That Can Occur in Cross-Cultural Communications

Religion, faith, and culture are acknowledged as possible sources of moral significance and personal authority in healthcare, improving the well-being of both health workers and patients amid illness, rehabilitation, health, and death (Kaihlanen et al., 2019). Communication between nurses and patients, as well as communication among healthcare workers, should be attentive to the welfare implications of religion, faith, and culture.

HCW must respect patients’ religious and cultural beliefs, taking into account their importance in treatment and care choices (Kaihlanen et al., 2019). Nurses comprehend their views and those of others, and they believe that recognizing the value of religion, faith, and culture to patients and colleagues is beneficial for patient welfare.

Nursing’s civic responsibility includes sensitively navigating variations in patients’ religions, beliefs, and cultures. Conflicts between clinical judgment, standard practices, and a patient’s culture, religion, or belief should be carefully evaluated by the HCW and colleagues so as not to compromise patient care.

The religion or culture of nurses may play an essential role in encouraging adherence to patient treatment. The conflict between various departments, HCW, and patients might emerge in cross-cultural communications (Würth et al., 2018). Cross-cultural differences can worsen an already difficult scenario, and cultural differences might exacerbate working under stressful situations for HCW. In inpatient therapy and management, cross-cultural interactions can easily lead to misunderstanding (Würth et al., 2018). The HCW’s role in cross-cultural communication is to strive to bridge these gaps and develop rapport.

The Influence of Family Culture on Patient Education

The family unit has a set hierarchy in many cultures; frequently, the Father is considered the leader of the home and is accountable for most of the decision-making, including those affecting a family member’s health care. In some cultures, family transcends the nuclear family to include the community, friends, and neighbors (Mayhew, 2018).

Culture is often categorized into two major groups that are at opposing ends of a spectrum: collectivistic and individualistic. Individual variances between the two groups also exist within any particular culture. The distinction between collectivistic and individualistic cultures is helpful since it allows practitioners to determine where a family stands on their cultural continuum and tailor patient care (Mayhew, 2018).

Different perspectives on health, as well as treatment, diagnosis, and causation of illness, may arise from both communal and individualistic cultures. Based on a patient’s place on the cultural spectrum, incorporating the extended family in conversations regarding disease etiology, diagnosis, and treatment may be beneficial. Consent from extended relatives may be required for some diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Approaches for Addressing Religious and Cultural Diversity in Health Care

Avoiding assumptions is a crucial strategy that the HCW may utilize to address religious and cultural diversity. Nurses must be careful not to generalize about cultures with which they are unfamiliar. This can contribute to a breakdown in building a rapport between the nurse and the patient, as well as a decrease in treatment acceptability (Walsh et al., 2021). The nurse should simply ask about something they are unfamiliar with. When asking inquiries, the nurse must ensure that her body language communicates openness and a willingness to hear the patient instead of listening for an answer.

Learning about various cultures and faiths is another essential method that health care providers may use to address religious and cultural diversity (Walsh et al., 2021). To address religious and cultural diversity, health care professionals should educate patients about clinical practices (Walsh et al., 2021).

All patients, irrespective of ethnic or racial origin, must provide informed permission for any medical operation. If they are inexperienced with medical treatment, nurses are frequently tasked with communicating why the treatment is required and what to anticipate during and after the process. Additionally, patients from specific cultural origins need additional instruction on how to manage themselves at home. They may need to blend contemporary techniques with traditional customs to maintain their health, and education is essential to this process.

Types of Illiteracy

Health literacy is the ability of individuals to obtain, process, and grasp basic health knowledge and services necessary for making informed health decisions.

  1. Cultural illiteracy arises from just not recognizing one’s past and history, as well as the histories of others.
  2. Functional illiteracy is a problem in which one can understand a phrase but cannot comprehend it (Adewusi, 2021). These people are often perilous because they take too simplified explanations and conclusions very seriously and can negatively impact the treatment regimen.
  3. Perception illiteracy-This is a type of illiteracy based on the belief that because the information was created on a trusted platform, it must be accurate, and any alternative explanations are false
  4. Physical illiteracy- Physically illiterate People spend a lot of time disregarding the benefits of exercise, proper food, and nutrition (Adewusi, 2021).
  5. Mental illiteracy is primarily manifested by persons who do not understand the notion of mental health (Adewusi, 2021). Mental illiteracy is caused by those who believe that any mental sickness or disability can be solved with some simple, feel-good thinking.

Illiteracy as a Disability

Illiteracy is considered a disability caused by a learning disability or another physiological or cognitive impairment that significantly affects one or more important life tasks, such as reading, learning, or communicating (Nakashima, 2019). However, if a person is illiterate owing to social, cultural, or economic obstacles, illiteracy may not be considered a disability.

Myths about Illiteracy

Myth: People will tell you that they can’t read (CDC, 2022). Fact: Because of the substantial social stigma associated with poor reading and writing abilities, all nonreaders will try to conceal this fact. For example, a patient may request a relative to join them at the physician’s office to assist them in filling out documents.

Myth: School years are an excellent indicator of reading level (CDC, 2022). Fact: Years of education reveal what people have been exposed to rather than what reading skills they have gained.

Evaluating Written Material for Readability and Assessing Literacy Skills

To assess health literacy to guarantee that patients completely comprehend: the nurse needs to communicate since health literacy occurs when nurses and patients fully understand one another, and the foundation of health literacy is mutual understanding. The most crucial aspect of communicating is to keep language basic and short (Wittenberg et al., 2018).

Other ways of assessing literacy skills include confirming understanding, Being creative through using images and illustrations, and elaborating on and questioning patients (Wittenberg et al., 2018). The Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) score, the first widely used instrument for assessing readability, provides a number on a scale of 0–100, with 0 being unreadable and 100 being the most readable (Szmuda et al., 2020). It is calculated by averaging the number of syllables per word and the count of phrases in each sentence.

How Nurses Establish Effective Communication

Patients are more likely to trust and rely on healthcare providers who utilize basic language that everyone understands and feels at ease with. Keeping things simple by utilizing non-medical language can result in a better patient outcome and will aid in the development of trust, which is essential in a nurse-patient relationship. The nurse needs to ask the patients to repeat the essential elements of their speech to avoid misunderstanding.

Asking questions and using open-ended inquiries that can be answered simply with a Yes or No, allowing patients to reflect on their condition, discomfort, issues, and symptoms aids to establish communication. Employing the Teach-Back Method, which is used to clearly and properly communicate facts about health, is used to teach and increase knowledge and adherence in people with low health literacy (Yen & Leasure, 2019).

How Nurse Can Help a Patient Remember Instructions

Encouraging patients to take notes while listening and rereading those notes within 24 hours after a meeting can boost memory recall by up to 70%. Encouraging virtual communication where patients can interact at any time through virtual contact methods such as email or messaging also helps enforce instructions (Hoek et al., 2020).

Nurses also need to provide a variety of instructional methods since people learn in various ways, including watching and listening, while others learn best by reading. Adapting teaching approaches to your patient’s learning style is important in enhancing health retention and benefits overall patient health (Hoek et al., 2020).


Adewusi, D. (2021). The forms of illiteracy; All 20 types of illiteracy! Scientific Editing.

CDC. (2022). What is health literacy? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Donnikova, I. A. (2018). Moral search in multicultural communication. Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research0(14), 30–41.

Hoek, A. E., Anker, S. C. P., van Beeck, E. F., Burdorf, A., Rood, P. P. M., & Haagsma, J. A. (2020). Patient discharge instructions in the emergency department and their effects on comprehension and recall of discharge instructions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Emergency Medicine75(3), 435–444.

Horváth, Á., & Molnár, P. (2021). A review of patient safety communication in multicultural and multilingual healthcare settings with special attention to the U.S. and Canada. Developments in Health Sciences4(3), 49–57.

Kaihlanen, A.-M., Hietapakka, L., & Heponiemi, T. (2019). Increasing cultural awareness: qualitative study of nurses’ perceptions about cultural competence training. BMC Nursing18(1), 38.

Mayhew, M. (2018). How culture influences health. Kidsnewtocanada.Ca.

Nakashima, T. (2019). Literacy and illiteracy. In Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics (1st Edition, pp. 326–338). Routledge.

Szmuda, T., Özdemir, C., Ali, S., Singh, A., Syed, M. T., & Słoniewski, P. (2020). Readability of online patient education material for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19): a cross-sectional health literacy study. Public Health185, 21–25.

Walsh, D. D., Snodgrass, J. L., Stewart-Sicking, J. A., & & Brown, I. T. (2021). Addressing religion and spirituality in counseling in rural Iowa. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 45(2).

Ward, C. (2020). Models and measurements of acculturation. In Merging Past, Present, and Future in Cross-Cultural Psychology (1st Edition, pp. 221–230). Garland Science.

Weinreich, P. (2020). Ethnic identity and enculturation/acculturation. In Latest Contributions to Cross-Cultural Psychology (1st Edition, pp. 135–148). Routledge.

Wittenberg, E., Ferrell, B., Kanter, E., & & Buller, H. (2018). Health literacy: exploring nursing challenges to providing support and understanding. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 22(1). Ebscohost.

Würth, K., Langewitz, W., Reiter-Theil, S., & Schuster, S. (2018). Their view: difficulties and challenges of patients and physicians in cross-cultural encounters and a medical ethics perspective. BMC Medical Ethics19(1).

Yen, P. H., & Leasure, A. R. (2019). Use and effectiveness of the teach-back method in patient education and health outcomes. Federal Practitioner: For the Health Care Professionals of the VA, DoD, and PHS36(6), 284–289.

Multicultural Communication Culture Ethnicity Illiteracy and Effective Communication in Healthcare Setting Instructions

Write a 650-1300 word response to the following questions: 

Explain multicultural communication and its origins.
Compare and contrast culture, ethnicity, and acculturation.
Explain how cultural and religious differences affect the health care professional and the issues that can arise in cross-cultural communications.
Discuss family culture and its effect on patient education.
List some approaches the health care professional can use to address religious and cultural diversity.
List the types of illiteracy.
Discuss illiteracy as a disability.
Give examples of some myths about illiteracy.
Explain how to assess literacy skills and evaluate written material for readability.
Identify ways a health care professional may establish effective communication.
Suggest ways the health care professional can help a patient remember instructions.
This assignment is to be submitted as a Microsoft Word document.