Friday, October 5, 2007

Nutrition information in Cantonese: case


A middle aged man is referred to me. He leaves a phone message telling me he is interested in information on Type II Diabetes and diet in Cantonese for his father who is a patient at the Herzl.


I search the following resources*:

The 24 languages project
Health Information Translations
Healthy Roads Media
NLM Consumer Health Information in Many Languages Resources

I am able to find some good information in Chinese on the SPIRAL site:

SPIRAL > Patient information by language > Chinese > select "diabetes"

Unfortunately I am not able to determine whether this information is specifically in Cantonese (health information is generally available in either traditional or simplified Chinese). I call the man back and he asks me to email the links and says he will ask his father whether he is able to read the information. I tell him I will be happy to continue looking if necessary. He then asks if I can find something that might help his father understand the different food groups and portion sizes. I do a web search using Google: canadian food guide chinese. The first hit is a copy of the guide translated into Chinese (pdf).

I email these links to the man including some information about navigating the SPIRAL site.

I place a copy of the consultation form in the attending physician's mailbox.

*All of these resources have been bookmarked in the list of public MyHq bookmarks I have created for myself and the Herzl health staff.

Total time: 20 mins


I consider every encounter an opportunity to teach people how to find information and not just hand it over. At the very least I show the path from the resource's home page to the desired information. This also minimizes dead links.

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