Tip 5. Make the Report Culturally Appropriate

A culturally appropriate report makes readers feel like the report was written for them. It fits with their cultural traditions and beliefs, making them feel respected and understood.

If your audience is culturally homogenous, you can tailor your writing to that group. However, since most American audiences include a variety of cultural and ethnic groups, you’ll have to consider how your report might be perceived by different subgroups. For multicultural audiences, take care to write in ways that are “culturally neutral” enough to work well for a broad and diverse range of readers.

Apply What You Know About Your Audience

To make your report card culturally appropriate, draw on what you already know about your intended readers—particularly their health-care-related knowledge, experience, and beliefs—to help decide which words to use and how to explain the measures and data.

Learn more about your audience’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.

Learn more about issues related to quality and culture for diverse populations at The Provider’s Guide to Quality and Culture, available at http://erc.msh.org/mainpage.cfm?file=1.0.htm&module=provider&language=English

Get Help Directly From Your Readers

Your readers are the best resource you have for understanding what they will find appealing and culturally acceptable in a report and what will motivate them to use it. Members of the audience can help you understand the right language to use and the nuances of their culture, and recommend ways to anticipate and address potential problems and misunderstandings.

Learn more about testing your written materials with readers:

Learn more about using feedback from readers to make written material more effective and culturally appropriate in Hoy EW, Kenney E, Talavera AC. Engaging consumers in designing a guide to Medi-Cal Managed Care Quality. California Health Care Foundation, 2004. Available at http://www.chcf.org/topics/medi-cal/index.cfm?itemID=104947.

Also in "Tips on Writing a Quality Report"

Page last reviewed May 2015
Page originally created February 2015
Internet Citation: Tip 5. Make the Report Culturally Appropriate. Content last reviewed May 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/talkingquality/resources/writing/tip5.html