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dc.contributor.authorCheng, W Y Cen
dc.contributor.authorBlum, Pen
dc.contributor.authorSpain, Ben
dc.identifier.citationAnaesthesia and intensive care 2004-08; 32(4): 542-7en
dc.description.abstractThis prospective study was designed to elucidate barriers limiting effective perioperative communication between indigenous Australians and anaesthetists, and to identify strategies for improving communication. A questionnaire was used to collect data on 1040 consecutive patients undergoing anaesthesia at Royal Darwin Hospital between February and March 2003. 27.1% of these patients described themselves as Aboriginal. Aboriginal patients were more likely to undergo emergency surgery and were more likely to be classified as ASA 3, 4 or 5 than non-indigenous patients. Communication difficulties were identified in 28.7% of all Aboriginal patients, which was 31 times higher than those in non-Aboriginal patients. The most common reason identified for this was difficulty in speaking English. Only 17.7% of Aboriginal patients presenting to the operating theatre spoke English as their first language. Unfortunately, the anaesthetic team utilized the Aboriginal interpreter service in only a minority of cases. Communication difficulty in indigenous Australians is pervasive and often goes unrecognized. The results suggest that heath care providers may need staff training in cross-cultural communication and that protocols need to be developed within the health care system so that interpreters are called upon automatically early in the admission process.en
dc.titleBarriers to effective perioperative communication in indigenous Australians: an audit of progress since 1996.en
dc.typeJournal Articleen
dc.identifier.journaltitleAnaesthesia and intensive careen
dc.subject.meshChild, Preschoolen
dc.subject.meshEmergency Medical Servicesen
dc.subject.meshInterviews as Topicen
dc.subject.meshMiddle Ageden
dc.subject.meshNorthern Territoryen
dc.subject.meshSurveys and Questionnairesen
dc.subject.meshCommunication Barriersen
dc.subject.meshOceanic Ancestry Groupen
dc.subject.meshPhysician-Patient Relationsen
dc.subject.meshPreoperative Careen
dc.identifier.affiliationDepartment of Anaesthesia, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory..en
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