Health Communication Research Projects in Applied Linguistics

Pictured: Xenia, Alexia, Helen, Maslin, Tess, Megan, Molly and Rhiannon

Two final year students in Applied Linguistics, Molly Rabin and Megan Davies, undertook a WOW (Week of Work) placement this year, working as research assistants alongside Tess Fitzpatrick and Alexia Bowler on a health communication project with a local health board.

The project’s aims were to evaluate patient information documents provided by a newly created Rapid Diagnosis Clinic, and to suggest potential improvements. Molly and Megan collected response data from fifty members of the public, and summarised these in a report for the professionals managing the Clinic. The resulting recommendations will inform the creation of a revised healthcare leaflet.

Molly and Megan have subsequently been joined by third year students Rhiannon Bayes, Xenia Lyu and Maslin Costiniano on a second, related WOW placement with Tess, Alexia and the Healthcare professionals to observe and report on communication styles in clinical practice. The placement gives an opportunity for the students to gain experience in writing reports, working with multiple stakeholders and working within a professional environment.

The team have been invited to present findings and reflections from both these initiatives to the health board later this summer.

About the placement, Molly said: ‘The placement was an amazing opportunity to gain an insight into the kinds of meaningful research that is conducted in the field of Applied Linguistics. This experience has helped me to acquire the skills necessary to undertake any future research. It has improved my confidence, which will be invaluable during my MSc in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at Oxford University.