HomeTalastásan: A Philippine Journal of Communication and Media Studiesvol. 1 no. 1 (2022)

Understanding the Communication Dynamics of Healthcare Professionals and Low-income Patients in the Philippines

Mikkah Joy B. Britt | Kristine Paola V. Caña | Romelyn M. Espiritu | Leabel T. Fabella | Aimie Winte Idul | Duchess Maylee Robin I. Tang-O



Healthcare is a fundamental human right. However, the socioeconomic conditions of people, especially those from the poverty line, affect their ability to access it. Through Critical Health Communication Theory and the Narrative Paradigm, this study attempts to understand the socioeconomic status and power structures that affect the communication process that seeks to understand the communication dynamics between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and lowincome patients (LIPs) during the consultation process. This study collected data through virtual interviews with six participants using a semi-structured interview guide. Thematic analysis for the data revealed twelve themes: healthcare standards, the impact of COVID-19 on the Philippine healthcare System, HCPs’ preconceived judgments, LIPs’ condition, and preconceived judgment before seeking healthcare, communication barriers, HCPs’ communication strategies, communication strategies, Results of the Consultation, LIPs’ concerns with the consultation and treatment, solutions provided by HCPs and LIPs to resolve problems, LIPs’ Responsibility, and LIPs’ Narratives. Communication between healthcare professionals and low-income patients is a process. The study found out that doctors use various communication strategies, especially using layman’s terms and thorough explanations in transmitting health information about the patient’s condition, knowing that underlying factors such as socioeconomic status, level of education affect patients’ reception of health information, identification of communication barriers such as fear of judgment, set of beliefs, limited technological means, and difficulty understanding of patients limits reception and retention. Hence, engaging both parties to devise resolutions to address and resolve the communication barriers will result in effective health communication.