Culturally competent communication in health care organizations in the Republic of Macedonia

Type Journal Article - Medicus
Title Culturally competent communication in health care organizations in the Republic of Macedonia
Volume 18
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 22-31
Aim To examine the existing situation, barriers and consequences of the intercultural communication in
health institutions and to offer training models for strengthening and improving communication skills of
health professionals in the Republic of Macedonia.
Methods Two cross-sectional surveys were done to assess the relationship between patients and health
professionals. A total of 813 health professionals (302 physicians and 511 other medical staff) from different
healthcare institutions, and 1016 patients participated in cross-sectional survey performed in autumn
2010. The second WIN/GIA survey was conducted with 1210 participants in autumn 2011. Questionnaires and
scales, interview and tests were used as research techniques. Descriptive and analytical statistical methods
were used.
Results The research in 2010 showed that each third examined patient thought that his/her physician or
the other medical personnel had no understanding for his/her emotions and gave no answer to all of his/
her questions. From the other side, 60% of the physicians declare that they have a good communication with
patients speaking other language than their mother tongue. Only 60% of physicians said that they know
good the culture of their patient and 52% of the other medical staff said that they adjusted the treatment to
the patient culture (religion, attitudes, language, life style). Survey in 2011 showed that 36% of Albanian are
confident with their physicians which is different from the Macedonian (43.8%) and patients with another
nationality (47.6%)
Conclusion There are some gaps in current provision of health care practice in an aspect of effective interactions
and communication skills of health professionals to meet patient needs in a multicultural and multilingual
setting. A training model is proposed for strengthening communication skills of health professionals.

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