Manual of Critical Incidents

The manual of critical incidents is a comprehensive and practical training resource for professionals involved in healthcare provision and working in multicultural settings.

Based on the method of case analysis developed by Margalit Cohen-Emerique, the manual offers healthcare professionals the opportunity to analyse concrete critical cases and situations which come up through the work with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. The method helps to move beyond the mere identification of the sources of the tension by facilitating the exploration of alternative solutions to a problem.

The manual  is composed of:

a) Introduction to the methodology: short background theory necessary for the appropriate understanding of the approach.

b) Sensitive issues in the health sector: an introduction to the sensitive zones inferred from the culture shocks collected in critical incident workshops with healthcare professionals in the partner countries. Short presentation of each sensitive zone and the related collected incidents.

c) Catalogue of critical incidents: 60 analysed critical incidents collected in 6 countries, offering a detailed and representative overview of the types of situations in which cultural differences can cause misunderstandings, conflicts and can potentially jeopardise the treatment.

Medical Anthropology Reader

The Medical Anthropology Reader accompanies the methodological manual of Critical Incidents so that readers interested in the cultural background of the presented cases can have an easily accessible anthology of texts to get additional information that may facilitate the understanding of the incidents. 

The anthology has a double aim and its structure reflects this duality. On the one hand it intends to provide examples of how medical anthropology brings new light to professional problems, situations and dilemmas existing in the medical system.  On the other hand, it engages the reader in a cultural journey to explore the rich cultural variations of the most banal things, which 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 sensitive zones, because misunderstanding over them or the lack of understanding of their variants often cause “culture shocks” in the interaction.

In line with this double objective, the Reader consists of two parts. The first part is dedicated to the presentation of 12 medical anthropological texts, based on a literature review of the past ten years in the partner countries.  The second part contains three short essays on the most relevant sensitive zones discovered in the critical incidents collected by our team.