Practice guidance

Practice guidance

A systematic review was carried out to investigate interventions for preventing CHD, including promoting physical activity, smoking cessation and healthier diets in Pakistani, Chinese and Indian communities in countries where these groups are minorities. Five principles for adapting behavioural interventions for minority ethnic communities were identified:

  1. use community resources to publicise the intervention and increase accessibility
  2. identify and address barriers to access and participation
  3. develop communication strategies which are sensitive to language use and information requirements
  4. work with cultural or religious values that either promote or hinder behavioural change, and
  5. accommodate varying degrees of cultural identification.

This represents significant progress in advancing understanding of adapted behavioural interventions for minority ethnic communities.

Smokeless tobacco cessation: South Asian communities. Guidance on helping patients give up smokeless tobacco products, such as Gutka, Pan Masala, Shupari, and Betel Quid, has been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Such products are linked to cancer, tooth decay, heart attack and stroke, and antenatal problems. Their use has been cited as a reason why South Asian women are nearly four times more likely than other women to develop oral cancer.

A Mental Health and Race Equality programme was hosted by NHS Health Scotland from 2006 to 2011. The aims of the programme included ensuring that people from Black and minority ethnic communities secure equal chances to experience the best possible mental health and wellbeing. Resources produced by the program include the Mosaics of Meaning Handbook, a guide which describes how a series of interventions delivered by the NHS, voluntary sector and user-led organisations in Glasgow sought to tackle stigma in mental health with BME communities. 

Diabetes and Me is a project run by Diabetes UK Scotland to encourage people from the South Asian community to self manage their diabetes. People from South Asian communities are six times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than people from the white European community

The Scottish Refugee Council has produced a briefing on the health rights and entitlements of refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland.

The Policy Research Institute on Ageing and Ethnicity (PRIAE) has produced evidence resources on the care needs of minority ethnic elders, including mental health needs.

Translation, interpreting and communication support

The NHS Scotland Competency Framework for Interpreting provides clear, precise and simple guidance for those working with people with preferred communication other than spoken English. As services and agreements differ across each geographical area in Scotland, this document can be adapted to include local information relevant to interpreting.

Now we´re talking: Interpreting guidelines for staff of NHS Scotland provides the basics necessary for health care staff to use interpreting services effectively.

Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure in Scotland (BEMIS), the national umbrella body supporting the development of the Ethnic Minorities Voluntary Sector in Scotland, has produced a range of useful publications and resources, including resources on ethical translation in health care settings in Scotland.

Health in my language provides information about health related services in Scotland which has been translated into different languages.

Scottish Migrant and Ethnic Health Research Strategy Group

The Scottish Migrant and Ethnic Health Research Strategy (SMEHRS) group is a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency group with members drawn from the Scottish Government, the NHS, academia and relevant third sector organisations.

It was set up in 2010 as recommended by the Health in our Multi-ethnic Scotland - Future Research Priorities 2009 report, with the aim of helping to implement the priorities and recommendations of the report. Its wider purpose is to encourage and promote high quality research that will help to improve the health and wellbeing of all ethnic groups living in Scotland.


Updated July 2015

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