I am preparing some talks about healthcare professionals’ communication about what is termed in Anglo-American culture as “distress.” I’m wondering if this term is readily understood in other cultures and if healthcare professionals routinely communicate using this term.You can help enrich my understanding.
Could you please help by answering some questions in comments below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org? It would be much appreciated, and please identify your native language.
In North America, there are campaigns urging health care professional organizations to recognize emotional distress as the “sixth vital sign” in cancer patients.
In medicine, four basic measures of body function or vital signs are already widely accepted as requiring routine assessment in a visit to medical care. The signs are temperature, pulse or heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration,
There have been a number of efforts to declare pain as the “fifth vital sign,” but these remain controversial, in part because assessing pain requires patient self-report whereas the four vital signs are objective measurements. Other candidates for the fifth vital sign include blood glucose level, oxygen saturation, and pupil size or reactivity.
Are you familiar with the Anglo-English term “distress”?
How well does “distress” translate into your language?
Would health professionals routinely ask patients about their psychological distress in your language?
Would a primary care patient understand if asked about their level of distress?
How much do working-class people routinely use the term “distressed” to describe their mood state that they are sad? Upset?
Would someone in your culture who is depressed readily say that they were “blue”?
When persons in your culture get anxious, would be they readily describe themselves as having “butterflies in the stomach”?
How would persons in your culture interpret someone saying that they had “butterflies in their stomach”?