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Communicating Wellness Programs Across Cultures

communicating wellness programs across cultures

It’s the New Year and people are still committed to their New Year’s resolutions – most of which include getting healthy.  Statistics show that half of the resolutions made have to do with living a healthier life.  This is a great opportunity for those in healthcare to tap into an attentive market.  The hurdle that most healthcare, health insurance, and wellness programs neglect when promoting healthy lifestyle choices is that although being healthy is universal, lifestyles are not.

Communicating wellness programs effectively is crucial considering nearly 40% of the population within the United States belongs to multicultural audiences where lifestyles differ drastically from one culture to the next. The American Medical Association states, poor health literacy is “a stronger predictor of a person’s health than age, income, employment status, education level, and race.” It has been proven, healthy living wellness campaigns are not effective as a “one size fits all.”  To really see a return on investment the message needs to be culturally adapted to fit the audience in order to resonate.

If a healthier world wasn’t enough to motivate message makers to improve their cultural competency than cost savings can be.  Last year alone, U.S. employers spent over $225 billion dollars on healthcare including both direct and indirect costs.  According to Towers Watson, U.S. employers expect a 4% increase in 2015, and it will continue to grow unless something is done.  In an effort to maintain costs, employers promote these wellness programs.  However, many employers miss the opportunity to really serve their employees by not speaking to them in a culturally relevant way.  Whether it is wellness programs, disease management, or plain healthcare information it all needs to be adapted to the reader in order to make a difference.

healthcare competently

the numbers speak for themselves:

  • ONLY 12% of the 228 million adults in the United States possess the ability manage their healthcare competently.
  • MORE than 40% live with one or more chronic conditions
  • OVER 75% of personal medical spending in the United States goes to management of chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • TWICE as many African American males are likely to die due to prostate cancer over white males
communicating health and wellness

communicating health and wellness looks different in every culture and language

CQ fluency is here to help! Partner with our language and cultural experts to ensure your communications are not getting lost in translation.

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