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Professor Jennifer Watermeyer – Investigator

Professor Jennifer Watermeyer
– Investigator

Jennifer Watermeyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. She is the Director of the Health Communication Research Unit (HCRU) in the School of Human and Community Development at the University of the Witwatersrand, a multidisciplinary research entity concerned with the unique challenges of multilingual and intercultural communication in the South African healthcare context. She is also an NRF Y Rated researcher.

Jennifer has an interest in studying communication processes in healthcare contexts using methods from the social sciences. Her research has focused on a variety of topics, including informed consent practices with vulnerable populations, cross-cultural healthcare interactions and interpreting practices, cultural understandings of illness, monitoring and evaluating healthcare practices, and developing communication skills training programmes for health professionals working in HIV/Aids contexts.

For the collaboration, the HCRU team has worked closely with the recruiters and enrollers at several clinical research sites in Rustenburg, North West Province. Our aim has been to understand communicative barriers and facilitators during consent and enrollment in clinical trials, and to implement site-specific communication training for language comfort in order to enhance consent processes. Another ongoing project involves exploring the lived experiences of patients living with co-morbid HIV and TB.