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    Humanitarian relief operations (HUMRO) represent a nexus between military diplomacy and global health engagement, and may play an increasing role in military operations in the near future. Language barriers between providers and the individuals being assisted are a significant constraint on HUMRO. A literature review was conducted to identify recommendations to address patient-provider language discordance in the international HUMRO context. This was supplemented by a North Atlantic Treaty Organization and US Department of Defense doctrinal review to identify existing best practices for addressing language barriers. Four general themes were identified: (1) print-based aids, (2) information technology, (3) bilingual responders, and (4) the effective use of medical interpreters in the HUMRO setting. Each strategy is reviewed. Informed by expert opinion, we provide concrete leadership and training recommendations for how HUMRO providers might more effectively communicate with patients in a deployed language-discordant context.


    Carlo Rossi, Sylvain Grenier, Régis Vaillancourt. Literature Review: Strategies for Addressing Language Barriers During Humanitarian Relief Operations. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness. 2020 Jun;14(3):343-351

    PMID: 31642421

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