Health Communication Research Unit (HCRU)
The HCRU, based in the School of Human and Community Development at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), is a multidisciplinary research group concerned with the unique challenges of multilingual and intercultural communication in the South African healthcare context. The late Prof. Claire Penn started the Unit in the early 2000s.
The main goal of the Unit is to apply methods from the social sciences and linguistics to investigate communication practices across healthcare domains and sites, with a view to influencing theory, formulating recommendations for policy and practice and developing and implementing site-specific communication training programmes. The Unit is driven by an implementation research paradigm. Given the country’s disease burden and the evidence of our research, there is now an excellent opportunity to put such research findings into practice.