Misunderstandings in multilingual counselling settings involving school nurses and obese/overweight pupils

Authors

  • Maria Birgitta Magnusson The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Institute of Medicine
  • Lena Hulthén The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Institute of Medicine
  • Karin I Kjellgren The Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v6i2.153

Keywords:

child, counselling, cultural, , health promotion, obesity, school nursing

Abstract

School nurses’ counselling is pivotal in stemming the obesity epidemic. Barriers for good counselling such as nurses’ misunderstandings and ambiguities when relating to overweight and obesity need to be addressed. In this study, we explored misunderstandings in school nurses’ counselling of overweight pupils in multilingual settings, together with how school nurses talk about the condition. Counselling sessions involving eight nurses and 20 pupils (aged 8–16 years) were audio-recorded and analysed using theme-oriented discourse analysis. Statistical methods were used as a complement. The focal themes were misunderstandings and nurses’ talk about overweight and obesity. Analytical themes were framing, footing and facework. Data analyses revealed three main origins of misunderstandings occurring in school nurses’ counselling of obese and overweight pupils: (1) nurses’ illusion that they know what advice the pupils need; (2) nurses’ insensitivity to the pupils’ and parents’ concerns; and (3) lack of lingual understanding. School nurses’ apparent difficulties to talk about overweight and obesity suggest a need to reflect on how to name these issues during counselling. School nurses’ dominance and pupils’ passivity were obvious. We suggest that counselling should be regarded as learning contexts and be subjected to possible quality assurance in the future.

Author Biographies

Maria Birgitta Magnusson, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Institute of Medicine

Maria B Magnusson is a doctoral student at the Dept of Public Health, Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy. Research interest is prevention and treatment of childhood obesity in school and community settings.

Lena Hulthén, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Institute of Medicine

Lena Hulthén is professor in clinical nutrition and responsible for the Dietician education programme at Sahlgrenska Academy. Her research involve school childrens relation to diet and physical activity.

Karin I Kjellgren, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences

Karin I Kjellgren is associate professor in nursing at Institute of Health and Care Sciences and vice dean for the 18 programmes at the first and second cycle of higher education within the Sahlgrenska Academy. Her research is about communication and education in different health care settings. She has a particular interest in adherence to antihypertensive treatment recommendations.

Published

2010-01-20

How to Cite

Magnusson, M. B., Hulthén, L., & Kjellgren, K. I. (2010). Misunderstandings in multilingual counselling settings involving school nurses and obese/overweight pupils. Communication and Medicine, 6(2), 153–164. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v6i2.153

Issue

Section

Articles