The Cultural and Political Context of Patient Dissatisfaction in Cross-Cultural Clinical Encounters: A Canadian Inuit Study
In 1986 patient dissatisfaction with medical services in some Canadian Inuit communities reached alarming proportions. Many observers attributed the problem to poor communication. Through an analysis of the process of interpretation in the clinic from a historical and sociopolitical perspective, I investigated the relationship between patient satisfaction and clinical communication. Political and ideological barriers inherent in a colonial medical system were found to constrain Inuit medical interpreters from advocating for their patients' interests and thereby increasing satisfaction with the care. Enhancing Inuit interpreters' capacity to act as advocates may be possible only through changes in administrative priorities that result from macropolitical change.