eCite Digital Repository

Understanding and improving communication processes in an increasingly multicultural aged care workforce


Nichols, P and Horner, B and Fyfe, K, Understanding and improving communication processes in an increasingly multicultural aged care workforce, Journal of Aging Studies, 32 pp. 23-31. ISSN 0890-4065 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2014.12.003


This study explored how culture shapes relationships in aged care and the extent to which the residential aged care sector supports a cohesive multicultural workforce. An exploratory methodology utilising semi-structured questionnaires collected data from 58 participants comprising: staff who provide direct care to residents; managers; and family members from six residential care facilities in Perth, Western Australia. Communication issues emerged as an over-arching theme, and included interpersonal communication, the effect of cultural norms on communication and the impact of informal and formal workplace policies relating to spoken and written language. Sixty percent of participants from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) background had experienced negative reactions from residents with dementia, linked to visible cultural difference. They used a range of coping strategies including ignoring, resilience and avoidance in such situations. CaLD participants also reported prejudicial treatment from non-CaLD staff. The findings highlight the need for organisations to incorporate explicit processes which address the multiple layers of influence on cross cultural communication: internalised beliefs and values; moderating effects of education, experience and social circumstance; and factors external to the individuals, including workplace culture and the broader political economy, to develop a cohesive multicultural workplace.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:CALD workforce, aged care, culture, dementia care
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural studies
Research Field:Multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural studies
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Multicultural services
UTAS Author:Horner, B (Professor Barbara Horner)
ID Code:106024
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:36
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-01-25
Last Modified:2016-08-15

Repository Staff Only: item control page