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Titre: A Sociolinguistic Study of Communication and Language Barriers in Algerian Health Care Settings
Auteur(s): khadidja, belaskri
Mots-clés: Communication – Linguistic Barriers - Multilingualism - Language differences – Healthcare settings.
Date de publication: 29-jan-2014
Résumé: In medicine, a satisfactory medical care depends upon effective communication between patients and health providers. Ineffective communication can result in wrong diagnosis and delayed or unsuitable medical treatment. It is assumed that poor communication reduces the healthcare quality and causes anger and a lack of trust among patients. The main purpose of this study is to examine language use in the Algerian healthcare settings where a multilingual situation is prevailing. It reports on the communication and linguistic barriers that both patients and doctors encounter during medical visits as a result of forces of historical, political, social, educational, and economic origins that are understood to have shaped the actual complex multilingual situation in Algeria, and have, at the same time, created linguistic gaps among members in the Algerian society. Since the down of modern medicine and other academic disciplines in Algeria, French imposes itself in most scientific fields. Doctors are characterised by using much French and medical jargon which are likely to be unintelligible to laymen. At the same time, health providers are often confronted with different patients from different regions with different backgrounds and who speak different dialects and varieties that physicians or other health provider may not always easily understand. The present research attempts to shed light on the linguistic communication problems caused by language disparities and gaps between doctors and patients. The research inquiry adopts an ethnographic paradigm to examine a sample population in some private offices and the university hospital of Sidi Bel Abbes, an important commercial centre in the Northwest of Algeria. It uses a set of research tools; questionnaires, interviews, observation, and takes advantage of the new technological instruments such as emails, social networking services and the bioinformatics tools to show that; in addition to the social and educational differences, there exist linguistic barriers to doctor-patient communication due to differences in French proficiency between physicians and patients as well as the use of medical jargon by doctors and the use an ambiguous language by patients as a result of Algeria’s linguistic diversity. We hypothesise that these linguistic hurdles have a negative impact on the effectiveness of communication in the Algerian heathcare settings. They create misunderstandings and confusion and make both doctors and patients less informative during the medical encounters.
Collection(s) :Magister en Anglais

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