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The research of the healthcare communication group addresses contemporary issues in healthcare and how these impact on communication including the cultural and linguistic diversity of the health workforce and patients, online health information and health literacy, English language proficiency and screening, and communication for safe and effective care. We investigate healthcare communication in a range of different settings, including health professional-patient interactions, health professsional inter and intra-professional communication, and learner medical discourses to inform health professional education. We approach our research primarily through qualitative and discourse analytical methods. Our multidisciplinary group includes health professional educators, clinicians, applied linguists, and communication scientists.
Clinical communication teaching and learning in health professions education is a major focus of our research. Investigations in the health education disciplines of medicine, audiology, nursing, physiotheapy, and speech pathology have explored how students enact relationship-centred care. We have also developed evidence-based communication resources for the emergency department and conducted communication research with internationally qualified health professionals. Some of this work has resulted in online teaching resources that are openly accessible.
A further area of research is communication technologies to overcome language and cultural barriers for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women in maternal care and for recruitment of CALD people into clinical trials.
Let’s talk medical research: Overcoming language and cultural barriers to participation in clinical trials
Communicating with older people across transition points of care.
Medical students’ transition to practice telephone referral skills.
Intercultural communication of overseas qualified nurses: perspectives and practices. PhD study S. Philip
Audiology student clinical communication. PhD study S. Tai.
Exploration of Patient-Communication in General Dental Practice in Melbourne. PhD study D.Nirmalann
Please contact the group lead, Robyn Woodward-Kron
Dr Charlotte Denniston
Dr Sandra Petty
Ms Susan Philip, PhD student
Ms Sammi Tai, PhD student
Ms Julia Paxino, MPhil student
Ms Darina Nirmalann, PhD student
Mr Minh Quan Cao, MDRP student
Anaesthesia Perioperative Pain Medicine Unit (APPMU), University of Melbourne
Institute of Communication and Health, University of Lugano, Switzerland
Institute for Communication and Healthcare, Australian National University
Language Testing Research Centre, University of Melbourne
Medical Education, University of Western Sydney
Medical Education, University of Auckland
Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACCC), University of Melbourne
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University
Australian Research Council, Linkage and Discovery Project Grants
Australian Learning and Teaching Council
Australian and New Zealand Association of Medical Education (ANZAME)
Department of Health, Victoria. Developing Organisational Capacity Funding
Postgraduate Medical Council Victoria
Ethics and Integrity Development Grant Scheme, University of Melbourne
Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society
Vice-Chancellor's Staff Engagement Project Grants, University of Melbourne
Melbourne Social Equity Institute
2017-2019, ARC Discovery DP170100308
Communicating with older people across transition points of care
Manias E, Bucknall T, Woodward-Kron R, Williams, Hughes C, Jorm C.
This research project is available to PhD students, Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
Some examples of translational healthcare communication multimedia and learning resources from the healthcare communication research group
- Reducing complaints about communication in the Emergency Department A communication skills training intervention for junior doctors. Final Report for Postgraduate Medical Council Victoria. http://www.pmcv.com.au/computer-matching-service/resources/755-research-grant-report-gvh-and-um/file
- Woodward-Kron, Bow, Flynn, Pill, Fraser (2012) Doctors Speak Up: Communication and Language for International Medical Graduates http://doctorsspeakup.com/ (funded by Department Health, Victoria), Web resource. (winner 2014 ELTon British Council award, Digital Innovation category.
- Woodward-Kron, Flynn, Macqueen, Slade, Widin, Stein-Parbury, Smith, Scheeres, (2011) Communication for Health in Emergency Contexts (CHEC): Teaching and learning resource for Emergency Department Communication. http://www.chec.meu.medicine.unimelb.edu.au/ web resource
- Woodward-Kron R, Flynn E, Delany C (2009). Clinical communication and ethical practice for International Medical Graduates in Australia. DVD and CD. University of Melbourne for Postgraduate Council of Victoria http://www.pmcv.com.au/img/resourcesforimgsupervisors/communication-and-ethics-for-imgs
Denniston, C., Molloy, E. K., Ting, C. Y., Lin, Q. F., & Rees, C. E. (2019). Healthcare professionals’ perceptions of learning communication in the healthcare workplace: an Australian interview study. BMJ Open, 9(2), e025445. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025445
Hughson, J. A., Marshall, F., Daly, J. O., Woodward-Kron, R., Hajek, J., & Story, D. (2018). Health professionals’ views on health literacy issues for culturally and linguistically diverse women in maternity care: barriers, enablers and the need for an integrated approach. Australian Health Review, 42(1), 10-20. doi:10.1071/AH17067
Philip, S., Woodward-Kron, R., Manias, E., & Noronha, M. (2019). Overseas Qualified Nurses’ (OQNs) perspectives and experiences of intraprofessional and nurse-patient communication through a Community of Practice lens. Collegian, 26(1), 86–94. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2018.04.002
Tai, S., Woodward-Kron, R., & Barr, C. (2018). Audiology Students' Perspectives of Enacting and Learning Clinical Communication: A Qualitative Interview and Video Reflexivity Study. American journal of audiology, 27(2), 219-230. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0097
Woodward-Kron, R., FitzDowse, A., Shahbal, I., & Pryor, E. (2017). Short Report: Using complaints about communication in the emergency department in communication- skills teaching. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 18(3), 60. doi:10.11157/fohpe.v18i3.160
Tai, S., Barr, C., & Woodward-Kron, R. (2017). Competing agendas and other tensions in developing patient-centred communication in audiology education: a qualitative study of educator perspectives. International Journal of Audiology, 57(4), 274–282. doi:10.1080/14992027.2017.1385863
Denniston, C., Molloy, E., Nestel, D., Woodward-Kron, R., & Keating, J. L. (2017). Learning outcomes for communication skills across the health professions: a systematic literature review and qualitative synthesis. BMJ Open, 7(4), e014570. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014570
Hu, W. C. Y., Flynn, E., Mann, R., & Woodward-Kron, R. (2016). From paperwork to parenting: experiences of professional staff in student support. Medical Education, 51(3), 290–301. doi:10.1111/medu.13143
Woodward-Kron, R., Fraser, C., Rashid, H., Au, J., Chua, Y. E., & George, L. (2016). Perspectives of junior doctor intercultural clinical communication: Lessons for medical education. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 17(3), 82. doi:10.11157/fohpe.v17i3.179
Woodward-Kron, R. (2016). International medical graduates and the discursive patterns of patient-centred communication. Language Learning in Higher Education, 6(1). doi:10.1515/cercles-2016-0012
Hughson, J., Woodward-Kron, R., Parker, A., Hajek, J., Bresin, A., Knoch, U., … Story, D. (2016). A review of approaches to improve participation of culturally and linguistically diverse populations in clinical trials. Trials, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s13063-016-1384-3
Woodward-Kron, R., Hughson, J., Parker, A., Bresin, A., Hajek, J., Knoch, U., … Story, D. (2016). Culturally and linguistically diverse populations in medical research: perceptions and experiences of older Italians, their families, ethics administrators and researchers. Journal of Public Health Research, 5(1). doi:10.4081/jphr.2016.667
Lau, P. M., Woodward-Kron, R., Livesay, K., Elliott, K., & Nicholson, P. (2016). Cultural respect encompassing simulation training: being heard about health through broadband. Journal of Public Health Research, 5(1). doi:10.4081/jphr.2016.657
Woodward-Kron, R. (2016). Putting population and global health on the agenda of health professionals. Journal of Public Health Research, 5(1). doi:10.4081/jphr.2016.709
McDonald, D., & Woodward-Kron, R. (2016). Member roles and identities in online support groups: Perspectives from corpus and systemic functional linguistics. Discourse & Communication, 10(2), 157–175. doi:10.1177/1750481315615985
Woodward-Kron, R., Elder, C. (2016). Authenticity in an English language screening test for clinicians: A comparative discourse study. Language Testing, 33(2), 251-270. doi:10.1177/0265532215607399
Flynn, E., Woodward-Kron, R., & Hu, W. (2015). Training for staff who support students. The Clinical Teacher, 13(1), 63–68. doi:10.1111/tct.12392
- Let's talk about medical research: equity for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) older patients
- Medical students’ transition to practice telephone referral skill
- Towards improved quality of written patient records: language proficiency standards for non-native English speaking health professionals
For further information about this research, please contact Associate Professor in Healthcare Communication Robyn Woodward-Kron
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