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Focus on intercultural communication is necessary

Sasja Schepers, researcher at the Grootenhuis group, receives a Kika grant for the INTERACT study: 'With this study we hope to optimize communication for families with a migration background.'

About a quarter of the people in the Netherlands have a migration background (CBS, 2021).

With increasing numbers of children and parents from diverse cultural, ethnic or religious backgrounds, culturally sensitive communication is essential. The Máxima aims to provide appropriate nd inclusive care that matches everyone's values and needs. Sasja Schepers, researcher at the Grootenhuis group, received a Kika grant for the INTERACT study. Her research focuses on language and cultural barriers that currently play a role in the care of children with cancer and their families.

Major consequences

Sasja Schepers emphasizes the importance of the study: ‘Miscommunication can lead to major consequences in the long term in the psychosocial and medical outcomes for children with cancer and their families. For example: confusion or misunderstanding by child and parents, dissatisfaction with the treatment relationship, not properly following treatment advice or missing appointments. This in turn can lead to poorer health, increased stress, or a reduced quality of life.'

Inclusive care

With the results of the INTERACT study we can develop future interventions that better meet the needs of families with a migrant background, says Sasja Schepers. For example, practicing communication with care providers using video feedback, empowering families with understandable audiovisual information, and using interpreters (more often) during conversations. We hope that the INTERACT study will contribute to optimizing the communication of families with a migrant background.'