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The 3rd International E-Symposium on Communication in Health Care

"Advancing Frontiers of Health Communication Research, Education and Practice during the Pandemic"

Mapping the complexities of intercultural healthcare research during the pandemic: Empirical, theoretical and practical implications for Chile


Mariana Lazzaro-Salazar


The Covid-19 crisis has affected almost every sphere of our lives. In particular, researchers have witnessed rapid re-configurations of workspaces, social behavior, ideology structures and identities, and research projects have either been cancelled, put on hold or re-designed to face the challenges of the pandemic. This global health crisis has particularly created, revealed and/or accentuated a range of intercultural issues pertaining the way people relate and communicate with each other regarding health matters. A number of articles and special issues have been published providing recommendations to investigate the new world scenario, usually highlighting emerging topics that may help account for the impact of the pandemic on the re-contextualization of intercultural relations, different aspects of human suffering and health inequalities. However, the road of research planning and development is highly complex and multidimensional, and long-lasting recommendations should possibly transcend this theme-oriented perspective. With this in mind, I will reflect on this complexity by offering insights into some of the empirical, theoretical and practical considerations on the road to intercultural communication research with a focus on the healthcare sector. To illustrate these points I will draw on data collected for past and ongoing research projects in Chile.

Bio note:

Mariana Lazzaro-Salazar (PhD in Linguistics) works at the Centro de Investigación de Estudios Avanzados, Universidad Católica del Maule (Chile) where she is also the vice-president of the Ethics Committee and a lecturer in the PhD Programmes of Education and of Psychology. She is also a research associate of the Language in the Workplace Project, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and leader of the cluster ‘Communication in Health Professions across Cultures’ for the Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare (HKU RIICH).

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