Misunderstandings in multilingual counselling settings involving school nurses and obese/overweight pupils
Keywords:child, counselling, cultural, , health promotion, obesity, school nursing
AbstractSchool 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.
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