IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


International Consortium for Communication in Health Care

An international, interdisciplinary collaboration that brings together leaders in the field of healthcare communication.

The Centre for Applied Linguistics is a member of the International Consortium for Communication in Health Care (IC4CH).

The mission of the consortium is translating cutting-edge research into best practice and training for safe and compassionate health care.  

IC4CH focuses on understanding the role of communication in a wide range of healthcare contexts. It also seeks to improve patient safety and quality of healthcare practice globally by translating findings to education and practice.

The Consortium is distinct internationally and relevant to contemporary healthcare contexts in the combination of several features. 


Health communication work at our centre includes: 

  • Ethnographic studies on inter-professional communication, surgical education and clinical decision making in the operating theatre. The aims are to develop a social semiotic theory of multimodality, learning and communication and to apply these theories to improve care in these contexts. 
  • Corpus linguistic and discourse analytic studies of communication in research trials. The aim is to improve the recruitment and retention of underserved groups, particularly ethnic minorities, and generating evidence-based best practice recommendations for making the information provision more accessible to stakeholders. 
  • Corpus linguistic and discourse analytic studies of the phenomenology of illness and healthcare, exploring the language of patients, carers, and healthcare professionals. The overall aim is to improve understanding of illnesses, where and why tensions might arise in care, what linguistics strategies and framings might help people cope better. 
Member organisations

The consortium also includes:

  • The Australian National University.
  • Nanyang Technological University.
  • Lancaster University.
  • The University of Hong Kong.
  • Queensland University of Technology.  

Members apply their research findings to improve healthcare practice in a variety of ways, from the development of educational resources and professional development modules, to policy innovation and recommendations for organisational change.

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