Improving socially constructed cross-cultural communication in aged care homes: A critical perspective

Dongxia Xiao, Eileen Willis, Ann Harrington, David Gillham, Anita De Bellis, Wendy Morey, Lesley Jeffers

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Cultural diversity between residents and staff is significant in aged care homes in many developed nations in the context of international migration. This diversity can be a challenge to achieving effective cross-cultural communication. The aim of this study was to critically examine how staff and residents initiated effective cross-cultural communication and social cohesion that enabled positive changes to occur. A critical hermeneutic analysis underpinned by Giddens’ Structuration Theory was applied to the study. Data were collected by interviews with residents or their family and by focus groups with staff in four aged care homes in Australia. Findings reveal that residents and staff are capable of restructuring communication via a partnership approach. They can also work in collaboration to develop communication resources. When staff demonstrate cultural humility, they empower residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to engage in effective communication. Findings also suggest that workforce interventions are required to improve residents’ experiences in cross-cultural care. This study challenges aged care homes to establish policies, criteria and procedures in cross-cultural communication. There is also the challenge to provide ongoing education and training for staff to improve their cross-cultural communication capabilities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere12208
    Pages (from-to)e12208
    Number of pages11
    JournalNursing Inquiry
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


    • critical research approach
    • cross-cultural communication
    • health workforce
    • nursing home care
    • older people
    • structuration theory


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