Diversity Knowledge Box

Manual of Critical Incidents

The manual of critical incidents is a comprehensive, practical training tool for professionals involved in healthcare provision working in multicultural settings. Based on the methods of case analysis developed by Margalit Cohen-Emerique, the method helps professionals analyse the concrete critical cases and situations which come up through the work with patients from other cultural backgrounds. The method helps to move beyond the mere identification of the sources of the tension by facilitating the identification of alternative solutions to a problem.

The manual  includes the following components:

  1. Introduction to the method: short background theory necessary for the appropriate understanding of the approach
  2. Methodology: practical guide to use the method in the health sector to explore the impact of cultural differences through analysing critical incidents and developing resources to overcome them.
  3. Presentation of the results of the Critical Incident Analysis: Introducing the sensitive zones inferred from the culture shocks presented by each partner. Short presentation of each sensitive zone.
  4. Catalogue of critical incidents: 60 analysed critical incidents collected in 6 countries, giving a detailed and representative overview of the types of situations where cultural differences can cause misunderstandings, conflicts and can potentially jeopardise the treatment.

Medical Anthropology Reader

The Medical Anthropology Reader will accompany the methodological handbook so that readers interested in the cultural background of the cases presented there can have an easily accessible textbook where they can get additional information facilitating the understanding of the critical incidents.  The Anthology has a double aim and its structure reflects this duality.

On the one hand it intends to illustrate with selected cases how medical anthropology brings new light to situations, professional problems and dilemmas existing in the medical system.  On the other hand, it will invite the reader on a cultural trip around the world, in order to show the rich cultural variations of the most banal things, that people belonging to the same culture often take for granted, such as the distribution of gender roles, rationality, ideas about life and death, disease and wellbeing. We call these conceptions and ideas “critical zones” because misunderstanding over them or the lack of understanding of their variations often cause “culture shocks” in the interaction.

In line with this double objective, the Reader will consist of two parts. The first part is dedicated to the short presentation of medical anthropological texts, based on a literature review of the past 10 years in the partner countries.  The second part contains short essays on the most relevant sensitive zones discovered in the critical incidents collected by our team.