Module 4 – Introduction

Communication is a core competence for all physicians and health care workers to establish a successful and satisfactory patient-provider interaction.

We always communicate in our daily life. Sharing our thoughts and opinions does not only happen orally but also through body language both consciously and unconsciously. Communication can be complex and challenging particularly in doctor-patient-relationships, e.g. when touching sensible subjects or delivering bad news, when talking to relatives, convincing a patient to do a certain treatment, or mentioning psychosocial problems. Communication is even trickier when language barriers exist, as it is the case with refugees and asylum seekers. This module is, therefore, relevant in all three domains of contact of refugees with the primary health care system of a related country: meeting the refugees and other migrants after registration, first contact with the primary health care team at the health care unit, as well as health education and promotion in the long time perspective (see table 1). It aims at recapitulating and refreshing communication basics for health care worker for the purpose of facilitating the communication with the newly arriving refugee population.