Breaking communication barriers for RA patients of south Asian origin: the use of a bilingual educational audio CD and linguistically appropriate peer support and education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • H John
  • Chandrika Gordhan
  • D Situnayake


Background. People from the Indian subcontinent represent one of the largest ethnic groups in the UK. Patient education resources are required to address language barriers, poor literacy and (potentially discordant) cultural beliefs. We have investigated a novel strategy to meet this need.Methods. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients of South Asian origin who prefer to communicate in a South Asian language were invited to a face-to-face interaction with a trained patient volunteer to provide linguistically appropriate peer support and education, and given a bilingual educational audio CD. Qualitative methods were used to assess this approach; three focus groups were held and 15 patients participated in total.Results. Four important themes were identified: (1) The need for information about RA; all patients agreed that this was vital to learn how to live with their chronic disease. (2) Currently available approaches to education; particular concerns related to a lack of time in clinic, language barriers, difficulties in communicating via interpreters and that most written information was available only in English. (3) Support provided by a trained patient volunteer; patients appreciated that they were listened to, and were motivated by the volunteers' positive attitude. (4) The usefulness of the audio CD; patients appreciated that information was presented in a language they could understand, via a convenient medium and which offered a helpful perspective on their illness.Conclusions. This approach is a successful way of delivering information and encouraged patients from a difficult-to-reach community to become more involved in their disease management. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
JournalMusculoskeletal care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2011