West meets East

Doctors’ perspectives and experiences of patient-centered intercultural communication in Ukraine


  • Neda Akbari University of Melbourne
  • Robyn Woodward-Kron University of Melbourne




doctors’ perspectives; Hofstede’s dimensions of national cultures; intercultural communication; patient-centered communication; socio-historical barriers; Slavic; Ukraine


Research has identified the tasks associated with effective patient-centered communication (PCC), but less is known about the contexts that can enable or hinder its implementation. This study explores East Slavic doctors’ perspectives and experiences of intercultural PCC with Western patients. Semi-structured interviews informed by the principles of PCC were carried out with 15 doctors from two private clinics in Ukraine. The interviews were analyzed both for content and themes, informed by the dimensions of culture approach developed by Geert Hofstede and co-authors.

The findings suggest disparities between the Ukrainian doctors’ perspectives and experiences of PCC and those encountered in the West, with those of the former seeming to be influenced by socio-historical and educational barriers, and by dimensions of national culture in Ukraine. In conceptualizing PCC, the societal context needs to be taken into account, lest some important functions of medical communication be placed at risk.

Author Biography

Robyn Woodward-Kron, University of Melbourne

Robyn Woodward-Kron, Senior Lecturer, Coordinator, Clinical Communication and Learning Development Program, Medical Education Unit, University of Melbourne.


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How to Cite

Akbari, N., & Woodward-Kron, R. (2022). West meets East: Doctors’ perspectives and experiences of patient-centered intercultural communication in Ukraine. Communication and Medicine, 17(2), 109–121. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.19234