Linguistic barriers in diabetes care

Diabetologia. 2009 Aug;52(8):1461-3. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1404-x. Epub 2009 Jun 13.


For a message to be conveyed successfully, both the words (translation step) and the meaning (interpretation step) of what is said need to be understood. This holds true even when the patient and healthcare provider speak the same language, in that the message can be lost if the patient is unable to put it into context. Linguistic barriers can pose major problems. Patient education needs to avoid jargon, and when introducing a new concept to the patient, the healthcare provider needs to check that it is understood.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / rehabilitation*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Educational Status
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Physician-Patient Relations


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A