Communicating Health Rights to Disadvantaged Populations: Challenges in Developing a Culture-Centered Approach For Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel

Nurit Guttman, Anat Gesser-Edelsburg, Seffefe Aycheh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowing about one's health rights can be critical for obtaining equitable and appropriate health care. A model drawing on a culture-centered approach was used to develop and present health rights information materials for a disadvantaged cultural minority-the Ethiopian immigrant community in Israel. The model is based on the supposition that the design of health rights information materials should address both concerns and barriers identified by members of the cultural community and illustrate specific means to address them. Stories of community members' actual experiences served as the basis for several types of narratives presented in video clips, a photonovella, and an illustrated booklet. More than 100 people participated in the study in five focus groups and 50 personal interviews. Findings indicate participants felt the materials developed using this approach were informative and represented their concerns and cultural barriers to realizing these rights from their perspective and would help motivate them to realize their health rights. The analytic process, which involved members from the cultural community, resulted in the identification of dilemmas associated with the development of solution-oriented materials that draw on the culture-centered approach. These dilemmas pose additional theoretical challenges to the culture-centered approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-556
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research project was funded by a grant from the Israel National Health Policy Institute. We are grateful to all the participants in the study who gave their time, views and stories. Our deep appreciation goes to the members of the Steering Committee Fekado Gadamo, Shmuel Ben Yaacov, Ziva Mekonen-Dego, Moshe Shette, Ruthy Katanov and Shlomit Avni, and to members of the research and production team, Linda-Rene Bloch, Shelly Engdau, Sebla Yeradu, Gebayu Ayalin, Esti Alemu, Tesefahun Alemu, Benyamin Getahun, Naama Appel and Nathan Stolero. Special thanks also to the healthcare professional for their invaluable help and guidance and to Sigal Talmor.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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