Patients' empowerment through cultural mediators in healthcare settings
Ruiz Lozano, Dolores
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of the present dissertation has been to provide insights into the role of cultural mediators in enhancing patients’ empowerment medical encounters. Specific attention was paid to relations of power between mediators and heath staff understood in terms of the attribution of value to resources of knowledge. The research takes a linguistic ethnographic approach to examining mediation within healthcare settings. Data-gathering techniques included recorded mediated interactions, interviews with healthcare staff and mediators, observations, analysis of hospital documents and visual material. Findings show that mediators have a considerable impact on patients’ empowerment. The data seems to confirm that mediators empower migrant patients in those cases when patients seek information and express concerns. Nevertheless, the research demonstrated that mediators prevent patients’ participation and maintain the status quo of the healthcare system when patients make decisions and express refusals. The findings demonstrate the need to implement training programmes for both healthcare providers and mediators to become more aware of their role of coordinators in the interaction. Additionally, there is a need for heath staff to attribute a higher value to mediators’ cultural capital and the need for healthcare institutions to recognise mediators as a professional group.